Hastings & Bexhill head coach Chris Brooks believes the rugby club is now ready to gain promotion.
Having finished fifth in a closely-bunched table last season, H&B will kick-off their 2016/17 Kent One campaign at home to HSBC tomorrow (Saturday). Kick-off at Ark William Parker Academy is 3pm.
Brooks said: “We’re quietly confident of a top echelon finish. We reckon we’re now ready to get promoted and spend a bit of time in the league above.”
A few young players have joined an otherwise similar squad to last term and H&B have enjoyed a promising pre-season campaign.
“A lot of guys reckon it’s the best pre-season we’ve had in some time,” continued Brooks. “The attitude within the club is ‘bring on the league’.
“There are three or four very promising youngsters up from the colts and there’s a lot more strength in depth. The new faces coming in are injecting quite a bit of pace. We’ve always tried to promote a fast, wide game and we’ve got a lot of legs that can do that.
“I also think the off-season training has improved our fitness as a squad. We’ve been doing a lot of aerobic and track conditioning. We’ve got quite a few fellows who are qualified fitness instructors in the club and they’ve been running some useful sessions for us.”
H&B rounded-off a trio of pre-season games with an encouraging performance in a 22-3 defeat to higher grade Deal & Betteshanger on Saturday.
Brooks added: “We put in a really good performance against them. They ran away with it in the last quarter, but I wasn’t fazed by it. I was very happy with the guts the boys showed.”
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