The Northwich RUFC Column - By John Blower

Prior to the rugby season’s Christmas break, Northwich’s second team had seen a revival.

It has been a remarkable transition since the appointment of Chris Bradshaw who along with captain Antony Keller have resurrected the fortunes of the Moss Farm team, so we took time for a little chat.

Views on your first season:

I joined Northwich in the 2015-16 season.

The season was amazing, the team had gone from strength to strength especially considering that of my first three games we played the then top two sides and lost by seven points or less, and then became league champions with three games to go. As well as putting 40 points on one of the teams that beat us.

To show how well our team played that year, with one game left to go, we reached 1000 points for the season scored. The last five games alone we scored 300 points including a 60-point game against local rivals Winnington Park where we also secured the league title.

How have you progressed:

As a player I have been plagued by niggling injuries but have played a role in every season and been a squad member in every cup final success the club has achieved since. Off-field, what is the club environment like:

Northwich as a club have been amazing in terms of the social aspect as well as the coaching set up.

Martin Poste (former Harlequins assistant coach) came in as director of rugby at the same time of my arrival, and has managed to change the whole club’s ethos towards rugby.

Steve Lander (part of the coaching staff for England’s World Cup winning team) also arrived as head coach which went to show how much Northwich were thinking to the future of their players and coaching development.

First impressions in your new role:

Really enjoyable, the guys have worked hard and there have been plenty of smiles so first impressions have been really positive!

We continue to keep improving the key skills and game sense. We will naturally start to look at the key components of how we’ll play. We could have the best game plan in the world but if our basics aren’t good enough then it’s irrelevant!

Reflection on the last four weeks as second team coach:

That we’ve got some really talented players! The core skills are improving already and we can also see real improvements in game awareness and understanding which is great.

The boys have taken well to our new coaching team.

It’s been great to have the younger guys in and around the senior squad. It’s good for their development and it also keeps the older guys on their toes!

It’s important that we create a culture that these guys want to play for the club.

As a squad we were disappointed with the outcome of the cup game prior to the festive break. The boys are fully aware that there can be no more slip ups and now it’s about taking each game as it comes and trying to get ourselves into the right position come the end of the season.

Win or lose our game management has to be better and the boys showed in training that the desire not to repeat that is there.

Aim for the next four weeks into the second-half of the season:

I think the aim is to incorporate more structure and nail the set piece while improving catch/pass even more.

With four tough fixtures coming up in January everyone needs to know their role and the next few weeks will be a key time to implement this.

As coach I have a clear way which I want us to play and if we can get it right I think we will be one of those teams who looks dangerous every time they touch the ball. I hated playing those sides so it would be great to be one!

We also have a very competitive 1st team and a social 3rd team.

Everybody wants to know who you are and will always find time out of their schedules to have a chat with you or help you out with anything they can.

Saturday night functions have been massively supported by our local community and all involved at Northwich RUFC at Moss Farm CW8 4BH.