Belper RFC’s director of rugby Tony England believes the club’s first team has got it what it takes to bounce back from last season’s relegation campaign.
They certainly made a good start on Saturday, beating visitors Nottinghamians 35-18 in their first Midlands Four East (North) game while the second team also did well, with a 34-17 win against East Leake.
Looking back, Tony England feels there were extenuating circustamces to the first team’s eventual relegation but the players are in place to push into the upper reaches of their current division this time around.
“We really suffered badly from injuries last season but on the plus side we’ve got something like five players back from long-term injury and if you add them to the new faces, there’s a really fresh look to the side.
“We lost 9-5 to Long Eaton last Saturday in the NLD Cup and I don’t really think we did ourselves justice but the performance on Saturday was an excellent start to the league season.
“I think we have equal strength in the backs and forwards and we’ve also got a young side with colts coming through the ranks, so that’s very good to see and a credit to the club. We’ve brought in the likes of Rory Peverell from Burton and we’ve also got Gaz Dakin back from two years in Germany and Ross Gray back from travelling, so we’ve got a good group of players.
“We’re currently looking for a coach as Christian Bardon has stepped down due to increased family commitments, so the coaching is being done in-house at the moment. We are keen to hear from anyone can fill that role for us. They can call me on 07970 158698.
“I think if we use Long Eaton and Nottinghamians as a yardstick, we should be looking at getting a top four finish with the possibility of even higher if we play well.”