Stirling County’s Head Coach Graeme Young is stepping down from his position as 1st XV Head Coach.

Graeme, who is a former player and past coach of County’s Under-18s and 2nd XV teams, has been with the Bridgehaugh club’s 1st XV for the past six years, and in charge for the last four seasons as Head Coach.

But the gaffer has now decided to end his spell with the Forth Valley side with immediate effect.

Graeme said “I am stepping down from the position of Head Coach primarily due to my increasing work commitments, which makes it much more challenging for me to balance my career outside rugby with the necessary time to devote to such a key role at Stirling County.

“The BT Premiership has moved into an all-but ‘semi-professional’ status and the demands on players and coaches are significantly increased. While there is an element of sadness for me, particularly as Stirling County has been a substantial part of my life, the time is right for me to take a break from rugby.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time leading County’s 1st XV and the journey has created some fantastic memories.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved in my time and its only now that I can reflect on the Club’s promotion back to the top-flight at the first time of asking (in 2010), followed by five continuous years in the Premiership, with our highest league finishes for 17 years in consecutive seasons finishing 4th then 3rd, leading to back-to-back British & Irish Cup campaigns when we brought the likes of Neath, Bedford and Munster to Bridgehaugh and flew the County flag across the home nations.

“At County we have consistently produced age-grade and Under-20 Scotland internationalists, and elite development players, many of who have gone on to become professionals with Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby, and capped for Scotland – this is immensely satisfying.

“I intend to return to Bridgehaugh in due course to assist in coaching the Club’s talented junior teams within the club’s renowned Rugby Academy. In the meantime, I will be on the sidelines as an ardent supporter of County, and I wish all at the Club the very best for the future.” County President Kevin Robertson paid tribute to their outgoing coach for all his efforts and dedication the cause during his spell in charge.

He added: “Graeme has been an immensely influential, accomplished and successful Head Coach in his time at Bridgehaugh, bringing in fresh training initiatives and meticulous planning and analysis to his pre-match preparations, thereby giving Stirling County a ‘professional edge’ and continued ability to compete at the highest level of club rugby in Scotland.

“Graeme’s legacy extends beyond County’s recent achievements in the BT Premiership and British & Irish Cup; he has been instrumental in developing many young players to realise their full potential, play for County’s 1st XV and go on to representative, professional and international rugby.

“We are all extremely grateful to Graeme for his unstinting dedication, effort and commitment to our Club, and we recognise and appreciate that he has put in place a solid foundation on which we can build further success for County in the years to come. We wish Graeme well in the future.”