Youngsters are continuing to thrive at Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury Rugby Club are continuing to reap the benefits of their decision to trust in youth.
Head coach Dale Smallman guided the club to a sixth-placed finish last season following promotion and an impressive start to the current campaign has left the Sundorne Castle outfit sitting fourth in the Counties One Midlands West (North) standings.
But while there have been some fine results, arguably the most pleasing factor for Smallman is the continued development and growth of the club’s younger players.
Shrewsbury fielded seven players in the side that beat Camp Hill 24-18 on Saturday who have progressed from the junior and colts teams and into the first team set-up.
“We are really pleased with the way things are going this season,” said Smallman.
“We have stuck with the transition of players from the colts progressing through to the first team.
“And it’s continuing to work well. On Saturday we had seven players in the starting line up who have progressed through the colts.
“It’s great to see that the youngsters are thriving in the environment we are creating.
“We were pleased with the sixth-placed finish we achieved last season after being promoted, but at the moment we are sitting fourth in the table and that shows the progression we are making.
“We have managed to push on and I think the league is more competitive this season.
“It’s all about having a sustainable model and developing your own players and I am really pleased with how that is going.
“I don’t need to say much to the current colts because they can see what is happening for themselves. They know the opportunity is there to progress because there are players they were playing alongside last season that are in the first team now.”
The next stage of the development for Smallman is to start picking up more victories on the road.
“We need to be more consistent away from home,” he added. “We have won all our home games this season and shown that we are really competitive and now we need to take that into the away games.
“It was a very tight game last Saturday. We were looking good at the end of the first half but Camp Hill are a very experienced side and that started to nip back at us.
“It got a bit tight towards the end but it was to see us hang in there, stick to the process and come out with the win.”
Shrewsbury are at home again on Saturday when they host Longton.
Another tough game against Longton, they see to have got their act together lately and they put 40 points on Stafford at the weekend, which is no mean feat.