After coming so close, Park want more great times, but Wigham expects challenges

PUBLISHED: 10:30 07 September 2019

Harpenden RFC vs Romford & Gidea Park RFC, London 2 Promotion Play-Off Rugby Union at Redbourn Lane on 13th April 2019

Harpenden RFC vs Romford & Gidea Park RFC, London 2 Promotion Play-Off Rugby Union at Redbourn Lane on 13th April 2019

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Romford & Gidea Park head coach Jordan Wigham expects a strong London Two North East this season, but is confident his team can enjoy success again, writes George Sessions.

The Crow Lane club finished as runners-up to Woodford in the 2018/19 campaign and as a result qualified for the play-off final, but lost out to Harpenden.

Not long after missing out on a place in London One North, Park also tasted defeat in the final of the Essex Intermediate Cup, but lots of positivity remains.

But after just avoiding relegation the season before, Park's efforts in the past campaign were superb and while they know this term will bring different challenges, they are ready for what is ahead.

Wigham said: "We sat and spoke a few weeks ago about goals and we understand what the players and coaches have to do to make sure we are ready to go again and push to reach the next level.

"If we get these things right we won't be far away again this year, but there is a massive challenge this season and that's traveling with only two local games.

"The rest are a distance, so that will be a challenge and Diss, who were relegated last April, will be very strong.

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"But if we can produce on our travels we will be in with a chance and the team that does this and is consistent at home will win the league. We are hoping to be in that mix."

Park won 15 of their 22 games in the London Two North East in the 2018/19 campaign and lost on just four occasions.

It saw them finish only 14 off champions Woodford, who they got the better of in the first derby clash back in November.

Overall it was a great term for the club, but Wigham is eager to make sure it is not a one-off.

"Last season in reflection was the start of something new as we changed the environment, the way we play train and the way we want to do things," he added.

"We knew last year we would be in the hunt for a top-half finish, but with wins came momentum and confidence and that's what has been missing over a numbers of seasons. The club really was a great place to be last year and in respect of previous years we had a decent season.

"The only negative would be not getting over the final hurdles, but that learning process has become more valuable to us as a team and individuals."

Park's first-team captain this season will be Aidan Mersh, with Micky James now player-coach.

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