Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club will be happy with a top four finish, says head coach Chris Brooks on the eve of the new season.
H&B will kick-off their Kent One campaign with a visit from Old Williamsonians this coming Saturday having been relegated from London Three South East last season.
We are adopting a no pressure approach to matches and will be happy with a top four finish for the first XV.Chris Brooks
Brooks said: “We have had a very promising pre-season preparation period and have been able to look at some up and coming young players who should feature prominently during the season.
“We intend to play a fast, wide and expansive style, and are adamant that enjoyment for the players and spectators is foremost.
“To this end, we are adopting a no pressure approach to matches and will be happy with a top four finish for the first XV. This being open to review as the season progresses.”
Former front row forward Brooks has stepped up from forwards’ coach to fill the void left after Kevin Smith stepped down.
Kit Claughton remains backs’ coach and will resume playing this season, and the club has also welcomed Andy Foster to the coaching team. Foster has already done some invaluable work with various members of the squad to improve kicking skills.
Jimmy Adams continues to captain H&B, whose opening game will get under way from 2pm at the club’s ARK William Parker Academy base.
The second and third teams, meanwhile, will be looking to improve further on their successes of last season. Chris Pillow will continue to lead the seconds and Alan Duggan remains at the helm of the thirds.
The second XV was due to start its Sussex Asahi League Two East campaign last weekend, but opponents Ditchling II were unable to fulfil the fixture and H&B were awarded a 40-0 victory. Their next game is at home to Heathfield & Waldron III on Saturday September 26, kick-off 2pm.
The third XV’s season will start on Saturday with a home match against Dover IV at 3pm. The thirds are that curious mix of youth, experience and social players who gel to produce a unique blend of fun on and off the pitch.
“This season we are encouraging a broader squad mentality and would expect to see significant movement of personnel between the teams,” added Brooks.
The club’s junior and mini groups have all started their coaching and training sessions, which take place on Sundays at 10.30am. They welcome new players and anyone inspired by the forthcoming Rugby World Cup to come and give rugby a try.
H&B’s girls’ team has also started its Sunday morning training sessions. The girls are hoping to build on last season’s strong foundations.
H&B’s website - www.pitchero.com/clubs/hastingsbexhillrfc - gives the contact details of officials/coaches.
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