As Sevenoaks RFC Senior Squad approach their fifth week of pre-season, Head Coach Adam Bowman has declared himself ‘extremely pleased’ with how training has gone so far, with over 50 players consistently taking part in sessions across Tuesday and Thursday evenings, as well as Saturday mornings.

Oaks Senior Squad have been working hard in training. Photo Credit: David Purday

Oaks Senior Squad have been working hard in training. Photo Credit: David Purday

‘It’s been a really good start’ said Bowman.  ‘You are always a little apprehensive ahead of training getting underway, but we are well into it now and attendance and application from the players has been excellent so far.  The quality of work and attitude has been first class from everyone – we know that as a group, we need to take a step up and we have been showing that in training so far.’

There have been a number of new faces to the group and importantly in the coaching department, with Michael Hebden joining as an attack skills coach.  Hebden, who is Director of Sport at Kings Rochester School, was recently Head Coach at Maidstone Rugby Club and Bowman is delighted to have secured the services of a highly talented coach, saying ‘I got to know Mike over the past couple of years with Oaks and Maidstone being in the same league and we always had a good rapport and he’s a coach I have admired.  With Jack (Barker) stepping away and Mike finishing at Maidstone, the timing worked well and I am delighted he has come on board.  As with all our coaching team, Mike has bought in and supports the ‘one squad’ ethos and that is crucially important.  Mike joining is a great coup for Oaks.’


On his arrival to the Paddock, Hebden said ‘I’ve always admired Sevenoaks RFC from afar and know a few guys that have been involved in the Club.  With all the Senior sides doing so well last season, you can tell that the environment is a special one and I jumped at the chance to come across and work with Adam and the team.  I hope I can bring some new ideas to the group – it’s going to be a huge challenge for the 1st XV in London Premier, but having seen the group in training and having watched some of the games, I have no doubt this squad will equip itself well.’

That squad has grown, with new arrivals joining an already strong and youthful squad, something which Bowman seems as ‘critical’ if they are to compete across all fronts again this season.  ‘We have to keep adding to the squad if we are to keep moving forward’ said the Head Coach.  ‘We are fortunate in that we have retained pretty much 95% of the squad from last year, which is testament to the players wanting to stay part of the environment.  I’ve been really pleased with how the new players have got stuck in and integrated into the group.  The next few weeks will give them an opportunity to get used to the structure that we play too.’

As well as retaining the majority of his squad from last season, the same can be said for the coaching staff, physio and strength and conditioning departments.  ‘I’m delighted that we have retained the services of all our support staff’ said Bowman.  ‘To my mind, to have the wide range of medical, coaching and S&C expertise makes the set-up what it is – it’s an area the Club invests in heavily and to my mind, has proved the difference.’

With a little less than two weeks until the Squad’s first pre-season match, Bowman and his staff will be looking at giving all members of the squad a good run, with the Head Coach saying  ‘Pre-season matches are a great opportunity to test new combinations, to look at new additions to the squad and also those current squad members who have been working hard for the past few weeks – it gets to a point where they just want to get out there and play.  It also allows the boys to get used to contact and up to speed – the first games are always about getting the lungs working again in a competitive environment and also getting timing and skills up to speed.  It will enable us to blow off the cobwebs and make sure we are in shape to git the ground running on 7th September, in what will be a massive test.’

Sevenoaks RFC | Senior Squad Pre-Season Fixtures

August 2019

10 Beckenham RFC (A)

17 Bracknell RFC (A)

23 Gillingham Anchorians RFC (A)