Romford & Gidea Park reveal first signings for new season
- Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo
Romford & Gidea Park have announced their first two signings for the 2020-21 season.
The Crow Lane club will be playing in London Three Essex following relegation last term, but have added Jerry Talampas and Joe Forde to their ranks.
Talampas joins on his return from university, having played for Essex under-21s, and can play in the front and back row.
He said: “I am joining the club as I believe it is an environment where I can better my game.”
Forde played youth rugby at Romford and represented Ireland at age group level.
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Previously with Barking, he added: “My aims for this season are to win the league convincingly and get promoted.”
The player signings come after the club also announced changes to their coaching set-up.
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Mitch Smith has returned to the club after starting his coaching journey at Mavericks last season and will work as Park’s backs coach.
Smith came through the excellent schools programme in South Africa at Glenwood High School and helped Park to promotion and the Essex Cup in his previous spell at the club, while also representing Essex in the County Championship.
He said: “I decided to return to Romford as I retired from playing, I felt I wanted to give back to a club that I spent nearly five seasons playing for and made some great friends.
“The aim for the season is to help the boys develop and get promoted this season as I feel they definitely are in a great position with the players they have and coaching staff.”
James Webster’s role as defence and lineout coach has been made permanent, after joining late last season, and said: “I joined Romford from Westcliff because head coach Jordan Wigham offered me an opportunity to become a player-coach, something I’ve wanted to do for a while.
“My aim after my playing days are gone is to coach rugby fully. Romford seems to fit with my current life and offers me room to grow both as a player and as a coach.
“My aim for this year is promotion, to help the team develop and create an enjoyable environment.”
Paul Cook has left his role as senior team coach for a new opportunity.
A club statement said: “We want to thank Paul for the past two and a half years at Romford. He has helped many players develop their game and bought fully into the club as a whole.
“We wish him luck in his new role and look forward to seeing him back in the clubhouse soon.”