MARTIN Poste has told Northwich not to be afraid of aiming high and that targeting a place at a higher level is a realistic ambition.
“It’s something we have to achieve ourselves though – nobody is going to hand it to us – and the way forward is for everybody to make a contribution. There are no guarantees, of course and, I've got to say it, we'll need to be a 'self-help' society. But when I hear whispers saying that we can’t afford to do it, or that it’s not possible, then that’s a shame. It’s also a risk to set limits on your possibilities; if you’re not ambitious, then you’re closer to the end.”
“We need to go forward, to evolve, so there’s no sense of anti-climax. I think continuity is important too, particularly when you’re trying to implement something that will last. “I don’t need to bring in a new team, because I’m confident we already have the right people. “Instead we need to use them in the right way, and become more professional in our outlook on these things. “We all have that responsibility. This isn’t what I’d call a £1m club that can pay to get to where they want to. “We have to be shrewder than that, but it can be done.”
The director of rugby, has agreed terms on a new three-year deal with the club.
Martin took up his role beginning of the 2015-16 season “My brief was to turn a competitive league side into one that can have a tilt at promotion.”
A feat he achieved in his first season in South Lancs/Cheshire Division One, April 23 at Burrows Hill when the fixture list threw up every Winnington Park supporter’s worst nightmare; the prospect of neighbours Northwich securing promotion, and with it the title, if they won the teams’ latest derby meeting at Burrows Hill. And that’s exactly what happened. A comprehensive 61-5 success was enabled them to reach their objective in style, and with two games to spare, and a 19th successive victory, it repeated their feat from 2007.
Northwich had fallen short in previous attempts to return to step six of the RFU’s pyramid, but the recruitment of Martin Poste as director of rugby proved an inspired one. He skilfully inspired a group that had played together for a long time, adding classy signings along the way. They certainly raised standards, and their nous at delicate moments was crucial, but this success tasted sweet for a squad that remained recognisably home-grown. More importantly, all but five of an 18-man squad went to school in Northwich.
It is undeniable that Matthew Poste, Mike Bradshaw, James Reilly and Nick Baldwin, new recruits in his first term, added class – and know-how at delicate moments – to a talented core.
MARTIN continued the job he started at Northwich Rugby Club after a agreeing a further two-year deal before guiding Northwich to third place in North One West in each of the past two seasons, narrowly missing out on a promotion play-off place by a single point this time around.
“I’ve one thing left I want to achieve,” he told members during the club’s annual prize night last week, “that’s to see Northwich playing national league rugby. I spoke with the same passion during the AGM, because I wear my heart on my sleeve, we should be aspirational, and give the young boys making a step up from the colts a platform to show what they can do.
He announced that Chris Dale will take over as club captain from next season while Matthew Poste, leads the first team. Joel Barber will be his deputy.
However that side won’t have influential centre James Reilly in it after he gave notice he is planning a switch to Sandbach. Who finished seventh in the Midlands Premier, one tier higher than Northwich, last season, and prop Tom King is returning to Chester, his former club after a single season at Northwich.
“Of course it’s bad news when you lose two lads of their quality,” said Poste.
“But I understand the reasons they’ve given for wanting to try something new.
"And if things don't work out, then there will always be a place for them here.
“We’re not feeling sorry for ourselves though, and we’re in conversations with four or five players with serious intent of improving the squad."
Meanwhile although the second team were relegated last season there were a number of the squad who played supporting roles throughout the season and will feature again compared with a number of ex-colts now showing their potential. And that is the secret, if there is one, to this side’s success – the beating heart has remained recognisably black and gold from the start.
3 years ago Martin Poste thought his rugby career was over, then he answered a call from Northwich who had just finished third in South Lancs/Cheshire Division One. The year before, they lost a dramatic promotion play-off at Bolton in the last minute. “It’s an unusual one,” said Poste, “Clubs usually dial your number when they’ve been relegated or are bottom of the table. “That’s not the case at Northwich”. And who knows where his journey will end in another 3 years, or more.
Updated 10:57 - 15 Jun 2018 by john Blower