With the dust having hardly settled on a Championship winning season in the Northern Premier Division, attention has already turned to next season for the club’s Coaching and Management Team.
Such is the nature of rugby at this level, preparations have been ongoing for several weeks with Head of Rugby Operations Gareth Dyer and the Coaching Team having already been busy in securing the existing squad and looking to strengthen where they believe it to be required.
Gareth said “As ever there is plenty of work to do and although the action on the field has been completed for this year save for those involved in the County games, it is a busy time off the field. We have already set out our pre-season plans and have arranged games with Caldy and Vale of Lune as part of our preparations for next season (dates and kick off times will be announced in due course).
In terms of the playing squad we are disappointed to be saying goodbye for the time being to Niall Crosley and Matt Frings who are leaving the area to pursue new opportunities in London and the US respectively. They are two super lads who have given great service to the club both on and off the field and we wish them the very best in the next chapters of their lives. They are impressive young men who will succeed in whatever they choose to do and we hope they will come back to the club when they can.
With Niall’s departure we now have a vacancy in our Community Rugby Coaching Role and his boots will be big ones to fill. This role gets bigger each year and is a vital part of our rugby delivery. Aside from taking the club and the sport into local schools, we expect to have around 500 youngsters involved with the club next year so there is scope for the CRC to assume greater responsibility for our Rugby Development pathways. I’d encourage anyone interested in this type of role to make contact as it is fantastic opportunity to get involved in the biggest club by participation numbers in the North of England.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be announcing who has re-signed with the club for next season and beyond. Several players such as Oga Mabaya and Peter Altham were already committed beyond the 2017/18 season and I am delighted that the vast majority of the squad will be with us for the foreseeable future. This will give us stability in the playing ranks and gives us a firm base to build from.
We have new signings to announce and these will be made during this announcement period. We are looking to improve the squad and ensure we have the depth of quality we will need to ensure we are competitive in National Two next year.
The league looks like it will be a strong one with Sedgley Tigers narrowly missing out on promotion whilst I am sure the teams coming down from National One will be expecting to bounce back at the first attempt given the quality at their disposal.
Our first aim will be to secure the 60 points that guarantee survival in National Two and try to do that as quickly as possible. Once we have that on the board we can then aim to finish as high up the table as we can”.