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Reed takes positives from testing season for Old Cooperians

PUBLISHED: 16:00 11 April 2019

Action from Old Cooperians against Ilford Wanderers in London Three Essex (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Action from Old Cooperians against Ilford Wanderers in London Three Essex (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Head coach reflects on the London Three Essex campaign for the St Mary’s Lane outfit

Action from Old Cooperians against Ilford Wanderers in London Three Essex (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)Action from Old Cooperians against Ilford Wanderers in London Three Essex (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Pat Reed believes there are plenty of positives for Old Cooperians to take from a mixed season in London Three Essex.

After relegation from London Two North East last term, the St Mary’s Lane club had been looking to challenge for an intermediate return.

However, Coops were rocked by injuries in the opening weeks of the season and won just four of their opening 11 matches.

The St Mary’s Lane club rallied in the second half of the campaign and were able to finish as high as seventh, though ended 44 points adrift of champions Epping Upper Clapton.

Old Cooperians celebrate a try against Ilford Wanderers in London Three Essex (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)Old Cooperians celebrate a try against Ilford Wanderers in London Three Essex (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Head coach Reed acknowledges it was a testing term for the St Mary’s Lane club and was disappointed not to challenge near the top, but believes the season could help the team going forward.

“It’s been an extremely difficult season and we had high hopes at the start, but injuries hit us hard,” he said.

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“We were particularly affected in the opening two games of the season and we never really recovered from that leading up to Christmas.

“Thankfully we were able to regroup around the New Year and though we still struggled with injuries to our forwards, there was a great upturn in form.

“Every club has a season when they’re hit badly by injuries and this season was our turn to experience that.

“That we were able to come through it the other side and avoid relegation while giving plenty of young places a chance is a huge positive going forward.”

With the season now over, Coops are not due to return to league action until September.

But Reed revealed there is a busy few months ahead for the St Mary’s Lane club before the start of next season.

“We putting a coaching structure in place that will see us follow a similar path to the clubs we’re competing with,” he added.

“We know we needed to improve our coaching structure and that’s something we’ve worked towards to ensure we’re in a good place going into next season.

“It’s not just the seniors, though, as our youth section growing too so it’s an exciting time for the club.”


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