David Mobbs-Smith has said tomorrow night’s (Friday) friendly at Barnes should be a good barometer of the progress being made by his Maids squad.
Under new strength and conditioning coach Murray Barratt, Maids players have been back in for pre-season training from June, and played their first match over the weekend – losing 17-7 to Drifters.
A stronger line-up will take to the pitch against the National League 2 side tomorrow (Friday), while Mobbs-Smith side also have an interesting warm-up game against CS Rugby of the London Premier at Braywick Park on August 31 ahead of the South West Premier kick-off at Drybrook on Saturday, September 7.
“Playing away from home at a side that finished in the top half of National League 2 last year will be a great test for the players, and a good barometer moving forward,” he said.
“I have been thoroughly impressed with the attitude and aptitude of the players so far this pre-season, starting in the first week of June was a somewhat daunting prospect for many, but they’ve worked really hard and I’m confident we’ll reap the benefits when we kick off at Drybrook.”
Mobbs-Smith has been thoroughly impressed with the efforts of his squad under Murray, Zoran Higgins and Will Greenwood and, in a new blog for the club website, said he hopes the new-look backline will be able to interchange positions seamlessly to play ‘fast, attacking rugby’ this season.
“We’ve got some great playmakers in our side,” said Mobbs-Smith. “Will Runciman, Ed Keohane, new signing Ben Mitchell and also young Duncan Jones have really impressed with their quick adoption of the shape and I’m confident they can interchange pretty seamlessly now, which is a huge asset to have.
“Our new additions to the club have been well documented, but one new addition not mentioned so far, who has made a huge contribution, is Murray. Such is the quality of content that Murray is delivering, I know the lads are delighted to have him in place and I know they are chuffed with looking that little bit trimmer in their holiday photos.
“Zoran Higgins will continue to improve our set piece and breakdown work, whilst Will Greenwood has a hugely talented backline at his disposal, and I know he’s going to have them firing on all cylinders come the season opener.
“I’m hugely excited for the potential of this group of players, and I cannot wait to get going.”