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Geoff sums up

| 04/05/2018

With the 2017-18 season now over Geoff Sluman the Bridgwater and Albion director of rugby cast his eye back over the campaign which has just ended. This has certainly not been an easy or straight forward season, but despite the difficulties we have had to face Bridgwater and Albion will be remaining in South West One (West) again next year.

The director of rugby at the club said I would like to start by paying tribute to all of the players from all of the teams; the youth teams, girls teams and senior men’s teams – they have all worked exceptionally hard and put a lot in for the rugby club.

The South West One (West) division itself has been fiercely competitive with any side capable of beating any other and the opposite was also true and any team could lose to any other.

There were ups and downs during the season, which included losing key players. Dan Kemmish dislocating his elbow had a massive impact. To lose a player of his standing, years of experience at playing at a higher level, previous captain for many years, a leader on the pitch, a leader off the pitch and just a fantastic guy to have about. Losing him was a huge loss. Rob Allen has spent the whole season plying his skills with Taunton Titans where he excelled. Credit to him for wanting to test himself at a higher level and he has proved he can do it, but again that was a loss for us on and off the pitch. There are others.

However there have been lots of positives that have come out of the season. It certainly hasn’t been all bad, because there has been some really good news regarding many of our younger players coming through and gaining a great deal of experience this season. Our newer players have also integrated amazingly well, they really have all mixed in brilliantly. It feels like they have always been here and they have all made a positive contribution in their own way.

The First XV certainly had a mixed season. Against some of the top teams we have performed really very well, only losing to league winners Drybrook by seven points, and second place Exeter University by five points – both of those teams have gained promotion. We were beaten by third place Launceston by only six points and by fourth place Newent by only two, so we can feel pleased to have lost to the top four sides by less than a converted try.

We have to acknowledge the opposite is also true when frustratingly we have not performed as well as we could against some of the lower sides in the league, so looking forward, we have to gain consistency and keep our concentration for every game.

Our Second XV have endured a difficult season too with many of the players pulled up to first team duties. They will all learn from that and it will put us in a stronger position going forward.

The girls section has enjoyed real success this season and continues to grow as does our youth section which flourishes.

Off the pitch we have developed too and introduced some performance analysis in the second half of the season. Getting things right off the pitch certainly influences what happens on the pitch. There are no miracle solutions but slow and steady progression embedding each before we focus on the next. There is a tendency to always rush to the next thing but if you do the activity is not always sustained.

I would like to add thanks to all of our sponsors and supporters, We simply couldn’t do it without the sponsors, and our supporters, many of whom travel to away matches as well, make a massive difference, and are really appreciated by the players.

Finally as Director of Rugby I would like to thank everyone who works so hard behind the scenes, the office team, the bar staff, the committee members, physio, performance analyst, catering team and all of the volunteers and coaches a big thank you.

We are already preparing for and looking forward to next season, which will be here soon enough!

On another note from the office, we would like to relay our sincere thanks to Geoff for all the help and support he gives us. Big love for Geoff from us xx

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Category: Previews / Reports -XV

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