Upminster up for new season

Upminster go on the attack against Old Cooperians in their derby clash last season (pic: Ray Lawrenc

Upminster go on the attack against Old Cooperians in their derby clash last season (pic: Ray Lawrence/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Ray Lawrence/TGSPHOTO

Club building for the future

Upminster have been boosted by the creation of a new academy, as they begin the London Three North East season at Billericay tomorrow (saturday).

Under-17s and colts now train with seniors at the Hall Lane club to learn systems and methods, with coaches also joining in.

And head coach Scott Kennedy hopes to see this approach reap rewards in future, saying: “Pre-season has gone very well with very good numbers attending throughout.

“The players have worked hard on their fitness with the help of Paul from Elite Commando Fitness, they are all very fit and raring to go.

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“We have had a few new players join and some old faces returning, so the squad is looking good. We have also taken on a new assistant coach, Ian Roper, who is hopefully going to bring some fresh ideas, and help move us forward as a club.”

Tom Simpson has joined Brentwood, but is the only departure from the ranks as Chris Davie takes over the captaincy.

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Kennedy added: “The opening fixture against Billericay will be a tough encounter and we are looking forward to the challenge, playing some good rugby against them and hopefully kickstart a good season.

“We have not set ourselves any long-term targets, except to play to our system, enjoy our time on the pitch and support our team-mates. If we achieve this, the results will take care of themselves.”

Davie added: “I’m looking forward to my inaugural season as captain. Neil Hutchison left some big boots to fill, and his inspirational pre-match speeches will be missed.

“But we have a great squad of players and I hope I can lead the team to success this season.”

Club captain Rob Stanley said: “It’s going to be a hard fought season through the whole club this year. Our ones need to build from last season, and our twos and threes, both promoted last term, will have some much tougher encounters.

“Our fours will again play in Merit Table Division Seven and will hopefully help develop some younger talent as well as provide competitive competition for some of our older players.”

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