RUGBY UNION: Fresh faces and club changes can give boost to Bourne
A season where unexpected high points in cup matches was mixed with league frustration has led to a root-and-branch restructuring at Bourne.
While last season’s joint coaches John Forbes and Nigel Lindley retain roles in the coaching set-up, Bourne will rely on the passionate Dave Maudsley to bring new vitality to a side full of promise.
Big things are expected from prop Neil Wood, scrum-half Harley Giullari and inside centre Sam Thornburn through whom many of Bourne’s brightest moments came, both home and away.
Maudsley said: “The reality is that the boys had a long and fairly tough season so, although they did alright in the cup games, the league season was quite hard.
“There is perhaps a lack of self-confidence so that in the games that mattered the most, the league games, they struggled a bit.
“We’re starting afresh this year, with a slightly new regime, a few new faces in the door and approaching every game in the cup and league as a blank canvas and, hopefully, do alright in each of them.”
Bourne are re-introducing a 2nd XV squad under former first-team regulars John Burgin and Neil Oglesbee to boost the pool of talent from which Maudsley can draw.
Club chairman Simon Perkins said: “We’ve always had a pool of 20 to 25 players, so the depth and strength of the squad varies from time to time.
“So to try to bring through people who haven’t played before, or who have retired and want to give rugby a go again, the second team gives us a platform for those who want to get fit to move on to the first team. Also, we want to give people the chance to play the game who have never done so before.”
The club have also strengthened the youth set-up under coach Chris Wheeler who said: “We can very carefully develop and manage the feed from under-16 level upwards where rugby sees the biggest fallout of players.”
We’re starting afresh this year with a slightly new regime, a few new faces in the door and approaching every game in the cup and league as a blank canvas to, hopefully, do alright in each of them
But it’s in Midlands Four East (South) that Bourne’s restructuring will ultimately be judged and Maudsley said: “I saw the last third of last season and there is loads of potential at Bourne.
“It needs a little bit of harnessing and it’s about everybody doing an equal share to come out on top as a side.”
Sat 10: Thorney (A)
Sat 17: Bedford Swifts (H)
Sat 24: Ollerton - cup (H)
Sat 1: Wellingborough OGs (A)
Sat 8: Brackley (A)
Sat 22: Deepings (H)
Sat 5: Old Newtonians (A)
Sat 19: Queens (H)
Sat 26: Sileby Town (A)
Sat 10: Stamford College OBs (H)
Sat 17: Bedford Swifts (A)
Sat 7: Wellingborough OGs (H)
Sat 21: Brackley (H)
Sat 28: Deepings (A)
Sat 18: Old Newtonians (H)
Sat 4: Queens (A)
Sat 25: Sileby Town (H)
Sat 8: Stamford College OBs (A)
Sat 22: Thorney (H)