Johnathan Rudland to step down as England Manager after 4 years in the role.


We can confirm this evening Johnathan Rudland is stepping down as England Manager after a hugely successful reign over a 4-year period.


Johnathan has taken on the role of Director of National Teams for British Dodgeball, which will see him overseeing the 5 national teams looked after by British Dodgeball including England Dodgeball.

This is Johnathan’s second period working with England Dodgeball after being a part of the original coaching team that set up England Lions in 2010. Under his management the Lions have remained competitive on the court including 2 gold medals at the 2018 Dodgeball World Cup in New York.


We caught up with Johnathan yesterday upon learning of his news to discuss some of his highlights during his time with England.


How are you feeling about your new role with British Dodgeball?


I wanted to have the chance today to reflect about my time with England and have an opportunity to thank all the staff, players and families that have supported the team over the last 4 years I’ve been manager. The staff have grown hugely over the last 4 years both in numbers and experience. They’ve been pushed to maximise their roles to benefit the players with the majority volunteering their precious time for the sake of the squad. I cannot thank them all enough for the work they have put in to support the plans that once seemed a long way off.

I’m extremely excited about my new role with British Dodgeball but sad to be leaving a team that I’ve worked so closely with over the last 5/6 years. It’s a great opportunity to make sure international dodgeball in considered in all decisions made within the sport and the country and for national teams to have the support they deserve.


What is your most memorable moment being the manager of England Dodgeball?


It’s easy to say the Dodgeball World Cup in New York, where we almost came away with 3 golds, if we hadn’t been so sleep deprived and hadn’t come up against a formidable Malaysian team. That was the first major tournament where we had a great staff team behind the scenes, and it all came together when it needed to. For me it was the satisfaction of what we had planned the two years previous actually happening and seeing so many great performances from the players in a great venue.


My other is seeing all the great young talent that is coming through the academy. We are extremely lucky that there is a junior league structure in England, and we’ve managed to build a great academy. A few years ago when we started we really struggled with a development squad but now it’s probably the hardest of our squads to get in.


Looking back when you became the manager what advice would you give your younger self now?


That’s a great question and one that is really difficult to answer. I think it’s to work together as a team and not to be afraid to go outside the dodgeball world to find the answers you want. As an emerging sport there is a real lack of experience and to learn how other sports do things has been key to our success. I think to keep reaching to other sports and coaches from different backgrounds and then applying it in a dodgeball environment will be the key to progressing what is possible.


What has been your drive to keep working tirelessly for England over the years?


I think it’s to see how well we can perform in the major tournaments. It’s not about how many medals we’ve won but how well we have performed in each tournament and the two stand out performances were the Women’s final in New York (2018) and the Men’s semi-final in Italy (2018 Euros), where it seemed our game plan and preparation really allowed us to perform to our best.

There have been a lot of late night phone calls with staff and people around the world that have all helped with the academy and this often goes unseen to the players. However knowing what you’re personally doing may add another 1% towards the performance is the buzz that has made it all worthwhile.


Finally, can you describe in three words your time with England Dodgeball?


Emotional, Thankful and Proud.


We wanted to thank Johnathan for his tireless work over the years he has been involved in England and want to wish him good luck in his new role.

England will begin the process to assess the current staffing structure and will announce more news in the coming weeks about our next steps. 

Copyright 2020 England Lions Dodgeball. Permissions to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.