A THREE-TIME promotion-winning coach has returned to the helm of Haddington.

Clifford Livingstone was appointed head coach of the Neilson Park side earlier this summer, with a view to building on the club’s impressive form last season.

The 54-year-old is no stranger to the club, with his connection dating back more than 20 years.

He said: “I played for Haddington in 1999 when I went down there as a player/coach.

“Haddington were in Division Five and we got them promoted three years in a row and I have just stayed since.

“I have been president of the club as well as director of rugby as well.”

The Scarlets looked on course for promotion to National League Division Three last season as they sat top of the East Region League One.

However, Kieran Cooney’s men never had the chance to get over the line as the coronavirus forced the shutdown of rugby across the country.

A change of job meant Cooney stepping aside, with Livingstone, who lives in Musselburgh, coming in.

The new head coach has vowed to play an entertaining style of rugby and promote youngsters into the first XV.

He said: “I want to play a brand of rugby that people like to go and watch.

“If Haddington were playing in Outer Mongolia, people would come and watch.

“People come on a Saturday and bring their kids down if it is enjoyable.”

Although lockdown restrictions have been eased, the players are currently unable to return to training.

Livingstone (pictured below) remained hopeful that would change in the not too distant future and games could yet kick off before the end of the year.

Surrounding Livingstone will be a trio of assistants, including Scott Brownlee, who was part of the coaching team last season. John Gibson, who has spent 14 years coaching the club’s minis and school of rugby, will also join the coaching team. Completing the team is former Scotland 7s star Darren Gillespie, who previously played for Jed-Forest and Kelso.

Bob Snodgrass, vice-president of Haddington RFC, said: “It is a great pleasure to be able to confirm Cliff, Scott, John and Darren as the coaching team for the coming season. This will provide us with a great combination of experience, continuity, intimate player knowledge and a strong appreciation of the modern club game, tactics and training methods.”