Hard work key to H&B fortunes

Hastings & Bexhill are about to begin pre-season training
Hastings & Bexhill are about to begin pre-season training

Hastings & Bexhill have promotion on their mind as their preparations for the new season are about to begin.

The rugby club was due to hold a senior players’ meeting on Thursday night before staging its opening training session on Tuesday from 7pm at William Parker Sports College.

Head coach Kevin Smith said: “They (the players) need to work a little bit harder than they did last year because the aim is for promotion.

“We’ve put our toe in the Kent One division, we didn’t get it bitten off, and we’re thinking of going forward now and from the get go our aim is promotion.”

H&B finished a creditable fifth in their debut Kent One season last term, but with the 2011/12 champions and runners-up being promoted, and no clubs coming down from above, the division looks wide open in 2012/13.

“One of the things we’re trying to achieve is to commit to Tuesday training as well as Thursday,” continued Smith. “That one little step will give us promotion along with a little bit of luck of course.

“There’s a massive barn on The Ridge with six inches of sand which is fantastic for fitness. We did that last year and we’ll be doing it again pre-season.”

Kit Claughton will continue as backs’ coach and Chris Brooks, who has played international rugby for Hong Kong, has come on board as forwards’ coach.

Smith is also very keen to improve the seconds, or development squad as they will now be known, and get more players knocking on the door of the first team.

Reigning Sussex Shield winners H&B will begin their league campaign with a visit from Old Gravesendians on Saturday September 15.