A well-earned rest for OC’s players young and old has finally come to an end, 2 pre-season games completed and the first minis/juniors/colts session of the season completed on Sunday. There have been several changes through the summer but one thing that has remained constant is my sons consent questioning about who is playing this year and when is rugby starting again.
The senior squad has worked hard over the last 11 weeks and have seen several new faces at training as well as a handful returning from university. We are lucky to have both head coach Luke Fielden and forwards coach Alan Bateson back again. They both have confidence that the squad can return to London 1 and this along with the development of our young players is my focus for the year.
So, to the changes, we welcome a new head physio to the club, well to the role. Dele has stepped out of his playing boots (well certainly for now) and will be looking after all the physio needs across the whole club. Dele is an excellent physio with lots of sports injury experience and worked with the colts all last season. He has also been working with London Skolars Rugby League team and has already started to make a difference with the players recovery and injury prevention.
A new website has been launched and although it continues to be developed the backroom functions are already making my life far easier. I’m really looking forward to seeing the continued development of the website over the coming weeks of the season.
Perhaps the biggest change for the season is the appointment of a new 1st team captain, Alex Smith who has captained the team for the last 2 years has decided to focus on his recovery from injury and let someone else take the team forward. Alex did a great job over the last 2 years and we all hope he makes a full recovery from injury, so he can get back to the playing ranks. After much consideration it was a pleasure to ask John Fletcher to take on the responsibility of the captaincy. John joined the club part way through the 16/17 season and has quickly established himself as a key member of the team. John will bring lots of experience from his previous club and hopefully some new ideas to keep the team moving forward. We have also decided this year to appoint a vice captain and we have asked Ed Livett to take up this role, an extremely popular member of the squad and someone that has fulfilled this role in the past, again we expect Ed to do a great job.
I hope that all of our players have freed up there Saturdays ready for the rugby season and I look forward to seeing all of our loyal supporters on the side lines.