Here we go then, a season in the Hampshire Premier League starts today and so far the pre-season has been hugely positive. Numbers attending training have been constantly in the high 30’s and often gusting 50+ at times, which has already contributed to fierce competition for places in the Dolphins match day starting XV. As a coaching team this is challenging yet hugely beneficial.
For the first time in many seasons the Dolphins have a dedicated coaching team made up of Graham Butterworth, Rob Packer and Pete Living. Knowing each other as well as we do, having played together over the years, will allow for each of us to exchange frank and honest views and opinions on selection, style of play, fitness, game plan etc all of which contributes (hopefully!) to the Dolphins supporting the 1XV to a level not seen for many seasons. It is highly likely that we may not always agree but we do know that we are here to support HRFC 1XV and that will be the main effort.
With 22 fixtures against 1XV’s and 2 against Eastleigh 2XV, the season will be challenging to say the least. It is no doubt going to be the case that the season will test the mettle of all players and coaches, physically and mentally, but through hard work on fitness and process, game plan and set piece, this will prove to be a rewarding and successful season. Of that I have no doubt.
As background, the reason HRFC decided to take part in the Hants Premier League is simply that last year in the Zoo League, it was the norm for teams to cancel at the last minute resulting in no Dolphins fixture at all. Not good I’m sure you agree and so the decision was made to enrol in Hants Premier League.
So here we are about to start the journey at Bognor RFC at Hampshire Avenue, and whilst not a Hampshire derby a South Coast derby match certainly. We in the Dolphins are in no doubt about how tough and stiff a challenge we shall encounter from our West Sussex neighbours, but on the back of a relatively successful series of 3 pre-season friendlies, we are definitely up for the challenge.
Bring it on and Up The Hill Havant!