London Two North East: Romford & Gidea Park’s director of rugby Steve Barfoot hoping for another good campaign

PUBLISHED: 14:00 05 September 2017

Old Cooperians and Romford & Gidea Park battle it out in a derby meeting (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Old Cooperians and Romford & Gidea Park battle it out in a derby meeting (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Club stalwart would like his playing boots to remain dusty, so he can help more youngsters develop at Crow Lane

Romford & Gidea Park’s director of rugby Steve Barfoot admits it has been a busy summer, but is looking forward to the start of the new season on Saturday.

The Crow Lane club hosted Sevenoaks last weekend in a friendly match, as they continue their preparation for the upcoming London Two North East campaign.

Park won 21-10 and Barfoot and the rest of the coaches have put in a lot of hard graft during the last couple of months, and hope in time it will pay off.

He said: “This summer has been non-stop really and you don’t ever seem to get a break in rugby.

“We have done quite a lot at the club and rearranged the youth section and got all of the coaches together more, so we have been busy.

“Our new coach is Jordan Wigham, so him and Dave Gilmore will be our senior coaches and it is just about people getting used to new ideas and a different way of thinking.”

Park defeated local rivals Barking 26-0 on August 12 in a pre-season encounter and followed it up with a victory at home to Sevenoaks.

But Barfoot added: “I don’t read too much into friendly results because it is mainly all about doing things we have spent the last eight weeks doing in training.

“Obviously it is nice to beat Barking, but like I say we don’t read too much into our pre-season games.”

Even though Park are without Paul Bradley, Bamidele Coker and Charlie Wilkinson for the 2017/18 campaign, Barfoot is looking for some of the club’s talented young players to step up.

Over the last two years several members of the squad have developed encouragingly and the Crow Lane director of rugby expects that to remain the case.

Barfoot said: “We have a lot of young players and they have been training well over the last couple of weeks.

“We also have some new guys involved, so we have lost three big ones, but hopefully it can even itself out and we can have a good season.”

Although Barfoot has been ‘retired’ for a while, every now and again he is forced to don his playing boots.

He does hope it will be far less frequent again this season having only done so on a handful of occasions last season.

“I am struggling to walk at the minute, so I can’t see the boots coming out any time soon,” said Barfoot.

“Look it is all about getting the youngsters through and giving them a chance, but if I am needed, I will play. That’s the way we do it, but hopefully I won’t be needed.”

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