In a move that could have implications on title credentials next season, Bradby Shield winning coach Sanath Martis has opted not to extend his stay at Royal College taking a three-year offer with St. Peter’s College instead.
Sanath Martis will coach St. Peter's College next season
Under Martis’ tutelage Royal College were also league champions last season, losing just one game on the way to the title.
Martis confirmed his departure to the Daily Mirror, saying St. Peter’s College’s flexibility to allow him to concurrently coach a club team convinced him it was the right move to make. “I’m leaving the Royal College rugby fraternity with a heavy heart,” Martis said, adding, “I have thoroughly enjoyed winning the Bradby with Royal College. But I have made this decision to further my professional and personal prospects.”
“Throughout my four years at Royal College, the Royal College Rugby Advisory Committee has given me tremendous support and Mr. Hemaka Amarasuriya and Mr. Rohantha Peiris and their committee have always been supportive.”
Martis added that it was unlikely that he would see immediate success at St. Peter’s College but would hope to see a turnaround in their success within his three years at the school.
“I am aware that St. Peter’s College finished sixth last season and I am aware that I cannot produce a championship in one season. But once I put in my plan and streamline the processes I think I can turns things around," Martis added.
While not divulging the name of the club he would coach next season, Martis said that it would give him the opportunity to work with good players and support structure, which he did not have in his previous stints in club coaching.
“I wanted a new challenge,” Martis stated, adding, “I want to jump out of the frame and challenge myself. I believe that coaching a school and a club next season would be an ideal challenge for me.”
He added that certain rumours spread my leading schools about him were not true and they were attempts to slander my image. “Certain rugby playing schools have been spreading stories about me, but they are nothing more than gossip mongers trying to tarnish my image.”
Chairman of the Royal College Rugby Advisory Committee Chairman Rohantha Peiris said that Martis had done a ‘wonderful job’ during his tenure at Royal College and that they respected his decision.
“We respect his decision to leave Royal College and we wish him all the best,” Peiris said, saying there was no animosity towards him.
“We have no issues with him and appreciate his contribution to Royal College rugby,” Peiris added, saying that they would sit down to initiate the proper process to find a suitable replacement.
The Daily Mirror learns that reliably learns that Martis has been in discussions with Havelock SC to take over as coach next season, though there has been no official confirmation from coach or club.