26 June 2024 / Club News

The Coaching Careers of Neil Eynon & Dale Keepin

Neil Eynon and Dale Keepin have stepped down as 1st XV Forwards and Backs Coaches respectively of Mountain Ash RFC 1st XV. Neil and Dale have been involved in the club as players and coaches over many years. Below is a summary of their careers. The club Management Committee wish to thank each for their contribution.


The Coaching Career of Neil Eynon

Neil Eynon played for Mountain Ash Youth, Mountain Ash 1st XV, and Pontypridd 1st XV during his playing career, and gained International honours with Wales Youth and Wales “A”.

After he retired from playing, he helped coach Mountain Ash Youth in 2002/03 when the Young Firm won their division in the BT Dragons Trust League and came within a whisker of winning the Champion of Champions play-off.

In 2003/04, he moved up to the senior squad and was Forwards Coach of the 1st XV. He continued for a dozen seasons before retiring at the end of the 2014/15 season. In that time, the Mount team gained promotion from Division 3 South East in 2004/05, won the Mid District Cup in 2009/10, and the Division 2 East championship in 2010/11 with a perfect record of played 22, won 22. In addition, there were also some very good seasons in Division 2 East during those years.

He returned as 1st XV Forwards Coach in 2021/22 with the Old Firm finishing the season as Division 1 East Central champions with a perfect record of played 10, won 10.

In 2022/23, the team finished 4th in the division, and in the season just ended, 2023/24, a 3rd place finish clinched promotion to Championship East for next season.

In all, Neil’s coaching career at Mountain Ash RFC spans 16 seasons from 2002/03 to the end of 2023/24, with the 2020/21 season having been wiped out due to COVID-19. His contribution to the club has been immense, both on and off the field, and the Management committee wish to put on the record their thanks for his time, effort and commitment to the club during these years.

The Coaching Career of Dale Keepin

Dale Keepin captained Mountain Ash Youth in 2000/01 and played centre and wing during his youth and senior playing career. He was a prolific try scorer, scoring over 100 1st XV tries for Mountain Ash.

When he finished playing, he started his coaching career with Mountain Ash Youth in 2016/17. He was involved in three very good seasons which culminated in the superb season of 2018/19 when the Youth won the treble of Blues Premier division, Blues Cup, and the Champion of Champions play-off, beating Neath Athletic (Ospreys champions), Newport HSOB (Dragons champions) in the semi-final, and Crymych (Scarlets champions) in the final at Aberavon.

He stepped up to become 1st XV Backs Coach in 2019/20 and continued until the end of the 2023/24 season. In those seasons, which were interrupted by COVID-19 in 2020/21 when the season was wiped out, he and Neil Eynon were coaches of the Old Firm when they won Division 1 East Central in 2021/22, finished 4th in 2022/23, and 3rd in the season just ended, 2023/24, which guaranteed promotion.

The Club Management committee wishes to thank him for his contribution over these years.


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