Collins believes his side will be ready!
PUBLISHED: 17:51 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 12:52 11 August 2010
DAGENHAM RC coach Mark Collins believes his players are good enough to compete in the London League as they close in on promotion from Essex League One, but admitted he will seek to bolster his squad to intensify competition for places, writes NEIL TRAINI
DAGENHAM RC coach Mark Collins believes his players are good enough to compete in the London League as they close in on promotion from Essex League One, but admitted he will seek to bolster his squad to intensify competition for places, writes NEIL TRAINIS.
A 35-7 victory over Old Brentwoods at the weekend saw Dagenham reclaim top spot from Maldon on points difference after their rivals had assumed leadership of the division with a 30-20 win over Writtle Wanderers the previous weekend.
Collins has been impressed with the attitude and commi-tment from his players this season as they continue to surge towards the title, and insisted he has no qualms about them adapting to a higher level of rugby.
"The players we've got are capable of going up to the next level," he said, mindful that victory over second-bottom Mill-wall this weekend would seal Dagen-ham's place in London Four.
"We're back on top and deservedly so after our good performances during the second half of the season.
"To get into the London League would be great as we were second bottom of Essex Two when I took over five years ago.
"We've hit the ground running this season and we're moving along quite nicely.
"The boys are more than ready for it (London Four).
"Obviously we want to rebuild. We increased the squad this year. If not we'd never be in the position we're in now.
"The same's got to happen next year. If not, you could go stale and get relegated.
"We want compe-tition for places and people competing to get into the team.
"I'm not guaranteed anything so why should people in the team be guaranteed (their places)?"
Collins' concern in increasing the size of his squad does not involve the quality of the players, but the sheer size of a squad which he fears could be severely depleted by injuries and, more likely, unavailabilities brought about by unreliable timekeeping of players.
"It's (London League) going to be a big step because of all the travelling to places as far away as Suffolk and we're going to need people to put in that bit more effort getting to games on time," he said.
"We want to move forward but the grand old factor in lower level rugby of unavailabilities could be a problem.
"We need more players.
"This isn't contract rugby, it's just played out of love for the game.
"We need more bodies and more people to commit.