RUGBY UNION: Spalding set for ‘learning curve’

Vice-captain Ash Piccaver
Vice-captain Ash Piccaver
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Things can only get better for Spalding this season.

They have dropped down into Midlands Three East North with an opening trip on Saturday to Belper who ended the 2016-17 campaign in third place.

The whole ethos during pre-season has been about coming together as a club in the senior section to develop a strong work ethic.

George Reid

Last term, Spalding were rock bottom of Midlands Two East North with one win, three points and 21 defeats.

Their only pre-season friendly produced a 25-22 win at Stamford.

Coach George Reid said: “We have a few difficulties with injuries in the front row so we need to find out who is available this weekend.

“We don’t know too much about the league apart from playing Kesteven who came down with us.

“We are not too sure how the other teams will play so it’s a learning curve for all of us.

“We need to produce some performances where we can at least push towards being better than we have been.

“Numbers in training are good and fitness levels have improved so people are putting in the effort where we can work on certain aspects of the game.

“In the pre-season match, we were fitter than Stamford and we looked strong in the back line. Now it’s all about getting into space to score a few tries.

“We have plans in place but we need to move faster on the attack.

“Our long-standing club stalwart Richard Cooke is the new captain so he will have a lot of respect from all of the players because everyone knows him.

“Our vice-captains will be Jason Steels – who was the second-team skipper – and Ash Piccaver.

“The whole ethos during pre-season has been about coming together as a club in the senior section to develop a strong work ethic.

“We need to support each other on and off the pitch so we’re looking to build on that.

“We need a winning team as well as making sure that the youngsters coming through the club will become part of the senior section.”

MIDLANDS THREE EAST NORTH

SEPTEMBER

Sat 2: Belper (A)

Sat 9: Birstall (H)

Sat 16: Buxton (A)

Sat 23: Grimsby (H)

Sat 30: Kesteven (A)

OCTOBER

Sat 14: Long Eaton (H)

Sat 21: Mansfield (A)

Sat 28: Nottingham Moderns (H)

NOVEMBER

Sat 4: Rolls Royce (A)

Sat 11: Sileby Town (H)

Sat 25: Sleaford (A)

DECEMBER

Sat 9: Ashby (H)

Sat 16: Birstall (A)

JANUARY

Sat 6: Buxton (H)

Sat 13: Grimsby (A)

Sat 20: Kesteven (H)

Sat 27: Long Eaton (A)

FEBRUARY

Sat 3: Mansfield (H)

Sat 17: Nottingham Moderns (A)

MARCH

Sat 3: Rolls Royce (H)

Sat 10: Sileby Town (A)

Sat 24: Sleaford (H)

APRIL

Sat 14: Ashby (A)

Sat 21: Belper (H)