MIDLANDS TWO EAST (NORTH) PREVIEW: Spalding v Bakewell Mannerians (at Memorial Field, kick off 2.15pm)
Spalding fans have every right to shout about their own ‘Special One’ who, as coach in place of Ben Williams, led Town to a shock 25-15 win over fierce rivals and high-flyers in Midlands Two East (North) Stamford.
Figueiredo, in his third spell at Memorial Field, will be looking to keep his unbeaten record intact on Saturday at home to bottom side Bakewell Mannerians after last weekend’s trip to Ashbourne was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.
But the Portuguese-born coach was still able to work his magic on Town’s 2nd XV at home where they thrashed Northampton BBOB 31-5 in the Eagle IPA League
Figueiredo said: “I try to transmit to the players a message that they should play with a passion for the club.
“If you have a good attitude on the pitch, the town will be proud of you – although you may lose the match.
“Rugby is not just physical but mental as well and what I’ve put into the Spalding players is nothing new.
“Correct your mistakes, cut down on penalties and don’t give away cheap points.”
Figueiredo, originally from the Portuguese capital Lisbon, started playing rugby as a six-year-old for the same club as his dad Sport Lisboa e Benfica.
After spells at full-back, centre, wing, fly-half, front row and second row, a serious knee injury put him out of the game for two years which was when he started coaching boys’ and women’s teams.
I try and transmit to the players a message that they should play with a passion for the clubSpalding 1st XV coach Bruno Figueiredo
“I came to England seven years ago and while I was working in Boston, someone told me I’d be better playing rugby for Spalding,” added Figueiredo.
“Then I moved to Peterborough but my partner challenged me to go back to Spalding and play because she knew how much I loved rugby.
“I played in the second team and after a few games I played for the first team where I learned about the Spalding spirit and attitude which I want to bring back to the club.”