No limit to Ford’s future

A former Lions coach is tipping one of England's brightest young talents for greatness. [more]

No limit to Ford’s future

A former Lions coach is tipping one of England’s brightest young talents for greatness.

Dave Alred has toured South Africa, Australia and New Zealand with Britain and Ireland’s elite, cementing his position as the world’s leading kicking coach.

Alred has guided the likes of Neil Jenkins, Ronan O’Gara and Jonny Wilkinson and has also spent time working with the Wallabies, where Matthew Burke and Berrick Barnes were particularly grateful for his input.

Alred currently counts teenage sensation George Ford among his clients and the Leicester fly-half has already made a massive impression on the kicking guru.

Ford, who was named the IRB Young Player of the Year in 2011, impressed for his club side in their run to LV= Cup glory last season and is expected to challenge Toby Flood and Owen Farrell for a senior England spot as the 2013 Lions tour approaches.

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Alred believes the 19-year-old son of former England defence coach Mike Ford has the metal and physical abilities to reach the very top, with his attitude and approach matching anything he has ever witnessed before.

"I have really enjoyed working with George so far," Alred, who also specialises in mental preparation, told the Rugby Paper.

"He has got solid fundamentals and, more importantly, he has got one of the best attitudes I have come across. In my experience, attitude is the gatekeeper to everything else in your career.

"I am not surprised at all by how far he progressed last season – I was pleased but not surprised. How good he can become is all conjecture. The work I do with him is not about setting outcome goals related to playing in particular teams or kicking percentage.

"What we do a lot of is process based targets, both physical and mental, that he is learning and then executing. But in terms of his talent and potential, you cannot set a limit on how good he can become."

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