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Moreland hopes Barking can win promotion to begin the road back to former glories

PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 August 2018

Action from Barking's match with Pulborough (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from Barking's match with Pulborough (pic Tim Edwards)

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In an article from our 'Engage' pullout, Barking director of rugby Andrew Moreland previews the new London Three Essex season

Andrew Moreland hopes Barking begin the long road back to their former glories by winning promotion from London Three Essex this season.

The Gale Street club were in National League One, the third tier of the English divisional structure, just as recently as the 2011-12 season.

Since then, however, Barking have slipped down the divisions and successive relegations mean they start the new campaign in the eighth tier.

It is a long road back for the Gale Street club if they are to ever replicate their former glories, but promotion this season would be a good start.

And after winning just one game in London Two South East last term, director of rugby Moreland says the squad are itching to have a successful campaign this time around.

“We are aiming for promotion this season. We asked the boys over the summer what they wanted to achieve and that’s what they said,” said Moreland.

“We’re all working hard to achieve that and we’re a lot fitter at this stage of pre-season than we were 12 months ago.

“We’re trying to get the club back where we believe they belong – this is the start of that.”

Part of the reason why Barking struggled last season may have been down to the division they were placed in.

The Gale Street club were the only side based north of the River Thames in London Two South East, which was otherwise comprised of clubs from south London, Kent and Sussex.

It meant away days were often long affairs, which had a significant impact on player availability.

In London Three Essex, though, the furthest trip Barking have to worry about is to Braintree and Moreland believes that will have a positive impact on the squad.

“We struggled with the long trips every other week last year because players weren’t available as they had other commitments, be it work or with their family,” he added.

“With the away games a lot closer this season, players can commit more to playing on a regular basis. We’ll be playing a derby match every week and that is something which is sure to excite the players.”

*Barking have nominated Saint Francis Hospice as their chosen charity and will raise money for them during the season.

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