Sandbach started their preparations for the coming season last Tuesday (18th June) and are now training every Tuesday and Thursday at p.m. prompt. No less than 41 players turned up on Tuesday and a very respectable 35 on Thursday. Club Coach Simon Verbickas was pleased with the turnout and said that he thought numbers would grow still further over the next few weeks.
Next season Sandbach 1st XV continue their campaign in RFU National Division 3 (Midlands) whilst the 2nd XV, following their promotion last season, face new challenges in the Bateman BMW Premier League. Sandbach Director of Rugby, PAD Davenport was excited about the coming season, “The 1st XV continue playing Level 5 rugby in National League 3 but the 2XV will be playing against the 2nd Teams of a number of National League 1 (Level 3) teams. It’s highly likely that we will come up against Level 3 players throughout the season.” Davenport added, “The Bateman Premier League is officially rated Level 6/7 but in reality it’s likely to be as tough as National 3, perhaps harder, with the added pressure of being watched by scouts from National 1 teams. It will be a tremendous experience and opportunity for the players”.
In preparation for the coming season, Sandbach have recruited a top class coaching team to assist Verbickas: Joel Unsworth continues as Assistant Coach and Lee Pickles also joins the team as assistant Coach. Both Unsworth and Pickles are full-time sports coaches and have already made their impact. Local fitness legend Carl Cooper continues to deliver top-quality SAQ training. The big news on the coaching front however, is the appointment of Calvin Morris as Consultant Strength and Conditioning Coach. Morris was until recently the England Rugby senior team S & C coach and has recently been appointed as strength and conditioning coach to England Basketball. Dave Wilkes, recently of Sale Sharks and now at Sedgely Park continues as a skills consultant coach to the club. As PAD Davenport says “We now have a senior coaching team of six highly qualified individuals who will be doing their best to improve performances of all teams from Junior Colts right through to the 1st XV. I would imagine that the quality of coaching that we offer at Sandbach is as good as any club in the North West and better than many.”
Following an intense period of pre-season training Sandbach has a series of home friendly matches arranged throughout August against, Wilmslow, Warrington, Chester and Pwllheli, followed by a Cheshire Cup fixture on the weekend of August 31st. Competitive League fixtures for all teams start on Saturday 7th September.
Sandbach are also installing a new on-site gymnasium at Bradwall Road with the generous support of Seddon Homes. The club also has a new, prestigious main sponsor but club sources are not yet revealing the identity of the sponsor.
Apart from the high flying 1st and 2nd XVs, Sandbach 3rd XV play a very good level of competitive league rugby and the 4th XV continue to offer competitive, enjoyable social rugby in the very best traditions of sportsmanship and camaraderie. Sandbach Senior and Junior Colts regularly play in the Raging Bull North West Colts’ League and will offer a friendly welcome to players who want to improve their game. Sandbach are always looking for new players at any level and anyone wishing to join Sandbach or find out more should talk to PAD Davenport on 07729 78355, join in with our Tuesday night social touch programme or simply turn up at pre-season training on Tuesdays or Thursdays.