Simon Evitts up for the challenge at Shrewsbury
A new-look coaching team are hoping to kick-start a change in fortunes at Shrewsbury, writes Sam Bayliss.
After relegation from Midlands 2 West (North) last season, club stalwarts Simon Evitts and Richard Pierce head a new-look senior coaching team which also features Chris Brayne as strength and conditioning coach and Lewis Jenkins, last season’s first team captain, as assistant coach.
A Midlands 3 West North opener at Harborne awaits tomorrow after an encouraging pre-season that has seen a number of arrivals.
“We’ve had a successful seven weeks of pre-season training,” said Evitts.
“We’ve made changes as we try to achieve stability and sustainability. We’re trying to build something, to change the ethos of the club. We don’t want to be a ‘yo yo’ club.
“We would obviously love to go out and win every game, but as a club what we really want to do is look to build something that’s sustainable. We want to see an improvement and a different mindset at the club.
“We’ve had good numbers attending training and that’s allowed us to get a lot of good work done.”
Shrewsbury have been boosted by the return of Colin and Tom Dickson from Oswestry while the other newcomers include Will Beddows, who has returned from Bridgnorth, and Johnny Hampson will also be pushing for a first team spot this season.
Shrewsbury were narrowly beaten 26-22 at home by Old Saltleians, who play a division higher, in the first round of the North Mids Shield last weekend.
Telford Hornets will be looking forward to another season in the to make more progress in Midlands 3 West North Division having retained the services of coach Paul Keane.
First team manager Roger Bates is delighted to see the club secure Keane, who has played a major role in Hornets’ recent rise through the divisions.
“We’ve managed to retain the head coach, which we’re pleased with,” said Bates.
“He’s been instrumental for the club, with two promotions in the last four years.”
Keane may well be their signing of the summer, but Hornets have also brought in a number of players over the off-season.
Now it is back to work, and Bates admitted: “Pre-season training has been good.
“First team availability is looking good. We’ve had one warm up game, which we won. We were happy to win, though there’s no trophy for pre-season,we know that.”
Hornets kick off their season with a trip to Edwardians tomorrow.
Bishops Castle & Onny Valley start their Midlands 5 West North campaign with a home game against Warley.