Reed wants Old Cooperians to enjoy rugby this term and hopes it could foster success
PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 August 2018
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In an article from our ‘Engage’ pullout, Old Cooperians head coach Pat Reed previews the new London Three Essex season
Head coach Pat Reed says Old Cooperians have thought about winning promotion from London Three Essex this term, but says the main aim is that the squad enjoy their rugby.
Coops suffered a disappointing campaign last term, resulting in relegation from London Two North East.
The St Mary’s Lane side would no doubt love an immediate return to that division and will be among a cluster of clubs chasing promotion this term.
But Reed says the aim first and foremost is for the squad to enjoy playing rugby again, which the head coach feels could lead to Coops reaping rewards this term.
“We are thinking about promotion in the back of our minds, but it is all about taking it game-by-game this season,” he said.
“We want a good squad of 18-20 lads ready for the first team on a weekly basis, and the same number for the second XV too.
“The main thing is we want the boys to enjoy their rugby this season because when you do, you tend to play a bit better.”
When Coops were last at London Three level, they won the title in what was then London Three North East after a tussle with Epping Upper Clapton.
That division has since been split into two, with clubs now competing in the Essex and Eastern Counties tables, resulting in not as many lengthy journeys.
Both Coops and Epping are back in the same division this term after both were relegated, and Reed believes they will find themselves in a tough league.
“As a club, we seem to be promoted and relegated with the same teams in recent seasons,” he added. “As a result, I feel that the leagues we go into, be it through promotion or relegation, become that little bit stronger, not just because of us, but because of the team with us.
“I think London Two North East looks a little weaker than last season, while London Three Essex looks stronger.
“There are a lot of local derbies which is exciting and there aren’t any long trips, so every team is going to be able to name a strong side every week.”
Coops have also launched a mini section ahead of the new season, with the club running an under-nine side this term.
And who knows, some of those players in that first-ever team at under-nine could be first-team stars of the future for Coops.