06:00PM, Wednesday 25 March 2020
David Mobbs-Smith has labelled his first season at Maidenhead RFC a success despite having it brought to an early finish due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mobbs-Smith took over as head coach from Russell Bolton in June last year and concluded his first season in charge with Maids sitting second in the South West Premier table.
They had four league matches left to play, matches that will sadly no longer take place.
That's because on Friday, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) declared the end of all league, cup and county rugby in England except for the Gallagher Premiership.
The implications for bringing the curtain down on the season early – and what it means for clubs across the country in terms of promotion and relegation – will be decided by the RFU by the middle of April.
With plenty of horse trading likely to take place before a final decision is made, it means Maids can’t be 100 per cent sure which league they’ll be playing in next season.
Bill Sweeney, CEO of the RFU, said: “While we would like to provide all the answers now, we need some time to get it right for the best interests of the game.”
Mobbs-Smith, like the head coach of pretty much every other club in the land, remains in the dark.
But, whatever the outcome, he was pleased to see the side finish the season with a flourish.
“I’m very pleased about how competitive we were through-out the season,” he said.
“We were very effective away from home and picked up a load of bonus points, which is what obviously gave us second place in the end.
“Being the new coach and trying to play different systems and patterns, it took a while to get going and we looked like we’d be roller-coasting in form.
“But, in reality, we were always one of the best sides in the league and I think it showed when we played Barnstaple.
“The most pleasing thing for me is also how well the second team has performed and how competitive they’ve been throughout the season.
“It shows us that we must be getting somewhere because we have a deep enough squad now to compete with the teams above in the division. I’m optimistic the club will carry on being competitive, whichever league we end up in.”
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