Consistency and fitness are benchmark for 2018/19 campaign
Northwich RUFC are gearing up for the start of the 2018/19 rugby season with a new forwards coach at the helm and expectations high for all the club’s teams.
Steve Dorrington has joined and he will work with director of rugby Martin Poste to bring a consistent style of play across the club and an improved level of fitness.
“I’ve been impressed by the speed and intensity shown during training so far,” said the new arrival. “There is a lot of talent here and there will be real competition for places.
“I’m looking for people who are committed to training and who want to listen and learn. If they are prepared to do that then we should have 20 plus people pushing for first team selection, which will be a nice position to be in.”
Postie stressed the importance of continuity and says teams will struggle if they have to make five or six changes every week. “At this level if you can keep a settled squad of 22 players you are going to have a chance of doing well.”
Key this season will be choice of captains. The head coach said: “Mathew Poste is selected as first team skipper with Joel Barber his deputy who has not missed a pre-season session Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday morning, both will have the back-up of club captain Chris Dale all three players have the experience and respect of the squad and will hopefully feature injury free regularly. There are a few candidates who are also showing the right desire and work rate, but every player here has an important role to play in the way we develop the club.”
Postie expects it to be another challenging campaign for the 1st XV in the North 1 West division but sees no reason why the team cannot improve on last season’s third position. He said: “This league is just as hard as the league above us – in fact it may even be tougher.” I’m sure the clubhouse will be buzzing, but it also brings pressure. We just have to stay calm and do our job.”
"Sammy Naylor has done a great job as lead coach this summer great variety and has put all the right emphasis to the training structure this pre season"
Steve Dorrington is looking forward to working with director of rugby Postie. “Our philosophies are similar,” he said. “Some might even call us old fashioned, but I want to bring some flair to what we do. I will do some specialist work and be pushing the forwards because that's where we need to have a real physical presence.”
Postie sees the first month of the league season, which begins on 1 September, as the key to how the 2018/19 campaign will unfold. He said: “There are a couple of games there I would expect us to win, and if we can get something from the two others then it will be a good start. That will give us the confidence and momentum to carry on.”
Postie has also stressed the importance of the 2nd XV and the 3rd XV this season. “Those players are going to be very important to us. We need to keep everyone together because players need to be ready for the first team if called upon. The 2s especially are in a very difficult Merit Table division this season so we all have to be prepared.
Fitness coach Mike Donnan comments “Home form will be important and fitness will also be a key factor. We have to be fitter than our opponents, especially in the final ten minutes of games. This is how we will build all our teams this season, combined with work rate and camaraderie.”
Last season the 1st XV scored points against all teams in the division, but the team also conceded many in the final minutes of important games. “If we do that again this season it will be the difference between gaining promotion and staying mid-table,” said assistant Steve Lander, who continued "The rejuvination of the surrounding area has brought new people to the district, who have also been attracted to Northwich rugby club training and fitness sessions, we welcome all new members and look forward to supporting them this season"
Sam Naylor Jnr hopes that by making some changes to the defensive side of the club’s game, all sides will be in the mix for a crack at promotion. “My ethos has always been about developing players as individuals and bringing a continuity of style in play that runs throughout a club. By doing this, players will emerge who will be leaders on and off the pitch and hopefully be coaches of the future. I see real strength in depth here and training so far has been competitive and full on. There is real competition for places and everyone will get an opportunity if they are prepared to work hard.”
Postie emphasised the development being shown by the Colts set-up within the club with organisation and coaching duties undertaken by 1st team players R Dale & Kyle, who both agreed: “The early training sessions have been fantastic and the lads have put in a lot of hard work. There are some great skills in the team and everyone seems to be enjoying the new plays and systems we are working on.
“Everyone at the club has come a long way in a short space of time and the welcome new coaches and players have received has been great. We have a solid foundation and I’m looking forward to working with all the players and the management committee on taking this club forward in the seasons ahead.”
Updated 20:48 - 14 Aug 2018 by john Blower