It is a good time of year to collect our thoughts and plan for the remainder of this season and the season to come.
Let me fill in a bit of detail from the last few weeks. Both squads, the Raiders Academy and Greens have created opportunities for competition wins making the AoC Plate and Sussex League finals respectively. The first of the two trials for next season has also been he held at Worthing RFC. It was a huge success with 36 players attending and performing very well. Competition for places will be extremely tough as the incumbent players have to retrial for places so it will make for some difficult decisions. There appears to be substantial strength in the ball playing positions and this is pleasing as it is an area that will complement the outside runners we already have in the squad. The front row looks strong with good players being added to the current crop while the back row again sees a number of talented players in the hunt for places in the squad. Truth be told there is always room for a couple of big men and we are exploring avenues at present that would get at least one possibly two big men in the door, watch this space….
Preparation for the AoC national Plate final is going well with players becoming available from injury and academic suspension to strengthen the squad. There are a couple of injury doubts and these will continue to be closely monitored. Decisions will be made nearer the time of the match as to whether they will warrant a place in the match day squad. We have managed to get into a position to compete for a title so we want the strongest side possible to fight for it. Likewise with the Greens and their battle with BHASVIC for the Sussex League play-off final. There are a number of first years (which make up the majority of the squad) that are coming into form at the right time. When the two sides met in the AoC league earlier in the year, the Greens suffered from lacking experience and loosing a couple key battles. As a squad we have made huge progress and are keen to get another chance to play them and measure ourselves again.
ON Wednesday we will continue to work towards April 22nd for the Greens and April 29th for the Raiders Academy. Getting another session in the bank is important to us and we are making the most of every opportunity to train.
There are many things that can and will happen prior to the finals that we can’t control so we won’t try to. Just keep our heads down and work very hard in all areas of the game, technical, tactical, physical and psychological in order we give ourselves the best chance of success. It promises to be a challenging few weeks but we are more than ready to meet it head on and hope we are able to surpass expectations of everyone outside the group.