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May & Baker focus on youth section as men drop into Merit Table for a new season

PUBLISHED: 15:00 31 August 2018

May & Baker under-16s in action last season (Pic: Jack Courtney)

May & Baker under-16s in action last season (Pic: Jack Courtney)

Archant

May & Baker are looking to rebuild in the Shepherd Neame Essex Merit Division Three this season, writes Jacob Ranson.

They finished fourth in the first phase of Essex League Division One last season to earn a spot in the Premier group, but then won only one of eight further fixtures in the new year.

Having dropped down the pyramid, a lot of focus in now on the club’s youth, who are also be keen to improve and build on their debut campaign with more tournaments, new coaches, and new targets being set.

Head of youth rugby Jack Courtney said: “We’re in a good place at the moment and the sky really is our limit. I’ve never been more excited to enter a season.

“The summer break has been very busy for us as we have appointed more coaches and team managers to help support and grow the club.

“The club has undergone a transition, with new committee members stepping up and a new club chairman in place and lots of healthy discussion about how we can progress and continue to develop.”

Courtney has high expectations for the under-16 side that will enter league and cup competitions this season.

“Optimism is very high as the team look to enter their first season in the Essex League and cup,” he added.

“We asked the boys at the end of last year what their ambitions were for this season and there was a real burning desire to compete and work hard.

“It will undoubtedly be challenging with GCSEs on the horizon, but the challenge is made exciting when you have such an ambitious group of lads.

“The boys have bonded really well and have been pushing each other at training and we can now see things coming together.”

Despite the excitement at the club, Courtney says they know it will not be the easiest of challenges this campaign.

“The season is going to be far from an easy one and this is understood by all players and coaches,” he added. “But it’s easy to talk and dream, the actions that happen on the pitch are what is going to make this season and determine how well we can go in the cup or league.”

Courtney also revealed they have set the minis, including the under-seven, eights, nines and 11s, their own targets for the upcoming season.

“The boys and girls have set a huge benchmark for themselves, and this is hugely achievable as long as they carry on enjoying their rugby and working hard with their coaches,” he added.

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