Kick Off!  Ollie Shirtcliff is part of the Senior Squad on Saturday when Oaks travel to Guildford.  Photo Credit: David Purday

Kick Off!  Ollie Shirtcliff is part of the Senior Squad on Saturday when Oaks travel to Guildford.  Photo Credit: David Purday

After a good start to their pre-season match schedule last week with a successful trip to Westcombe Park, Sevenoaks RFC Senior Squad travel to Guildford this weekend to take on another side who sit in the league above them.  With Oaks 1st XV taking on Chichester in the first match of the league campaign in under three weeks’ time, Adam Bowman and his squad are under no illusion how important the next two weeks is to make sure they are ready to hit the ground running on the 2nd September.

‘It certainly sharpens the mind, knowing that it will be only two weeks on Saturday until we begin our league campaign.  I was really pleased with the efforts of the whole squad on Saturday against a team that finished fourth in the league above us.  The most pleasing aspect on Saturday was seeing the strength in depth across the squad.  Last year saw us use 40+ players throughout the season in 1st XV matches and at times, due to injuries, we were stretched in certain departments.  Seeing the boys at training and also on Saturday, it’s clear to me we have deepened our squad over the summer with guys returning from University new members, but most importantly with those who played last year improving their skill set to become better rugby players.  Of course that brings selection headaches, but that’s something for myself and the other coaches to worry about and it’s a nice headache to have.’

  Head Coach Adam Bowman and his squad know they have to focus the minds with the season fast approaching.  Photo Credit: David Purday

Head Coach Adam Bowman and his squad know they have to focus the minds with the season fast approaching.  Photo Credit: David Purday

Guildford RFC finished in mid-table last season in the old National 3 South and have a strong influence from the Harlequins Football Club within their coaching department, with Dave Ward, Ross Chisholm and British and Irish Lion Kyle Sinckler imparting their knowledge on a weekly basis at Guildford Road.  The match will be consist of 6 blocks of 20 minutes, no doubt testing the endurance of both squads but Bowman sees it as the perfect set-up before Oaks kicking off the season.  ‘Saturday will give us a look at some of the players that perhaps weren’t involved last Saturday.  Training has been really competitive as well, stepping up a level in the past week and that gives us a really good platform to base selection on going into the match against Chichester RFC, whilst the remainder of the squad have a really tough test against Romford and Gidea Park 1st XV on the same day.’

Bowman continued ‘Getting back into matches like last week, it just raises the excitement levels.  After six weeks of training, we are getting match ready now and can’t wait for the season to kick off.  We are really looking forward to Saturday and seeing how we perform.’

Sevenoaks RFC Senior Squad take on Guildford RFC this Saturday, kick off at 2.30pm.  The match will be played at Cranleigh School.  Players and supporters should park by Pickup and Jubilee Memorial Pavilion.

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