Head Coach Marcus Tobin reviews the first block of 4 league matches as Clapton look forward to the next block consisting of 2 away fixtures at Wanstead (19th October) and then Holt (26th October).
“There can be no disguising the fact that obtaining 1 point out of a possible 20 from our initial 4 games is NGE-NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
As a group we knew that London 2 NE would be a sterner challenge exacerbated by the loss of Mitch Sinfield and Dan Jones, retirements and long term injuries to the likes of Nicky Trevillion and Will Parrish who were both instrumental in our successful promotion season.
But the fact is that we still have a very talented squad, and I as Head Coach have total responsibility and accountability to extract the maximum performance from it, something that has not been forthcoming from the initial 4 games.
I, along with the coaching team will be working overtime with the players to turn around fortunes, and am confident via hard and smart work at practice we can do so.
There was evidence in our last game at home to against a skillfull, well coached Ipswich team (who have won 3 of their 4 games-Clapton lost 12pts to 15), that we have the capability to compete strongly in London 2 NE.
The “A” team have performed very well and have won both of their Herts/Middlesex Merit Table matches under the guidance of Nick Cook and Steve Ericson, and the squad is very much underpinned by the 13 U18’s squad players who are experiencing senior rugby for the first time. This environment is now conducive to maximise player development and also allow players not in the 1st Team 18 man squad to make a serious challenge to break into it. Nick Platts, Samson Adejimi, Patch Jennings and Lewis Morgan-Jones from the U18 group have all represented the 1st Team in London 2NE matches this year, and is further evidence of the Clapton’s “Growth Within” policy from the Youth & Mini sections of the club
There is no sugaring the pill, a club needs to win at least 9 games (possibly 10) to stay in London 2 NE and there are 18 games left, simple maths-we need to win at least half of our remaining games.
The break in October has come at a good time as it has given everyone the time to reflect and also enable several players to get back to fitness and compete for places within the 1st Team 18 league squad.
We look forward to playing Wanstead away this Saturday (19th October), Wanstead have had a similar start to ourselves but have achieved 3 bonus points from a hard earned 22 all away draw against Holt, and have a very experienced coaching staff, and talented squad, so we expect a stern challenge at Centenary Fields this Saturday.”
The squad is bolstered by the additions of Russell Hume and John Robinson making their first starts in the 1st Team squad this season, and Luke Neat also returns from injury following an outstanding performance against Diss earlier in the season.
Tobin added “Once again on behalf of the coaching staff and players, we would like to thank the fantastic support we have received both home and away from club members and supporters, it is greatly appreciated”.