Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club will kick-off its 2018/19 London Three South East campaign with a trip to Park House today (Saturday).
After two warm-up games, at home to Chelmsford and away to neighbours Eastbourne, the new coaching team headed by Ben Davies has plenty to be satisfied about regarding the attitude and commitment of the players.
The ambition of the new coach is to build on the solid foundations laid by his predecessor Chris Brooks.
See also: * Hastings & Bexhill handed away start to new season
* H&B coach: We’ve proved we belong in this league
Davies started his rugby career at H&B as an under-10 mini, and played through the junior ranks to become a solid and regular member of the first XV until the pressure of work and the commitments of a young family forced him into retirement in 2014.
Davies has been an active coach in the club’s minis section, developing the basic skills of the game, and in the colts, where he has prepared players for the senior game. He plans to further his coaching qualifications to level three in the coming seasons.
Park House away will be a tough start to the season for Davies’s squad, but will give new players the opportunity to stake their claim for a regular place in the team.
During the close season several new players have joined the club. Adam Parkhouse, Ryan Madigan, Ryan Jinx and Josh Grainger have big boots to fill.
Former skipper Jimmy Adams and prop Tony Roche have retired, both having played in the first XV for more than 15 years. Chaz Ackerley and Jack James - two regulars last season - will leave for a year in Australia during October, so there are places up for grabs.
The emerging talent of Stash Maltby has the opportunity to make the scrum-half slot his own. Bruce Steadman will return from his extended honeymoon adventures at the end of the month.
Throughout the club, players at all stages of development have returned to training ready to accept new challenges and have more fun. The mini, girls’ and junior sections are already in full swing with their Sunday morning sessions being very well attended.
If you are interested in playing rugby, please contact the club, visit the website or simply turn up at Ark William Parker Academy (Park Avenue entrance) on a Sunday morning. If you are over 18 and looking for a new club, come along on a Tuesday or Thursday evening.
H&B’s second team, meanwhile, will host Haywards Heath seconds in its opening Sussex Division Two Reserves league fixture today, kick-off 3pm.