from David Page, Director of Rugby:
Good afternoon and welcome to Fowlers Wells. Please can I extend a very special warm welcome to the Players, Coaching staff, Medical team and Alecadoo’s from our visitors today Charlton Park. Our away game at Charlton Park back in November was an away win 24 points to 3. Charlton Park were promoted into the league at the end of last season having previously enjoyed spells as one of Kent’s top clubs, an aim I know that still remains a focus to regain even though their current league position does not bode well for this season. However with the Medway misdemeanours and their certain relegation Charlton Park are now in a dog fight in order to move up the table and put someone else in one of the other two relegation spots.
Please beware of ‘wounded tiger’ and right now that is what our visitors are so we expect a very tight game and we hope they enjoy their day with us – but in the words of President Heslop – Not too much!
A home game, well that seems a little rare these days as we have not played on our home turf since the 33-24 home win against Havant at the end of January. Since then we have travelled to a very upset Medway who took some revenge for the RFU’s decision to relegate them and they quite frankly smashed us in a 20 – minute spell. To recover from that took big hearts and we then ventured to League leaders Sutton & Epsom where despite staying with them for 40 minutes and looking sharp in the process they did run out winners 38-19.
Two weeks ago we went to the arch enemy Guildford and we gave the 2nd in the table a fright, in a game which Guildford were 2nd best they did the main job and won with almost the final play of the game, running out winners 27-23 having been chasing the game for much of the 80 minutes. The game saw their scrum completely dominated and all this with their big names doing the coaching!!
Those few past games have done little to help the injury list which has quite frankly crippled us this season. In the past three weeks we have lost Josh Devitt once again, this time for the season as he recovers from a break in his foot. Ollie Smith is walking wounded and at the time of writing is not sure if he will play. Ollie Wakefield is battling a niggling injury, and we have now lost El Supremo Ryan Gregory whose back has now given up the ghost and he is having some serious treatment from the hard working doctors and our own medical team, who at this time I must thank for being so dedicated and professional in all that they do.
I can however report some good news. Brett Taylor the former Northampton Saints player (100 appearances), former USA National coach, former London Scottish and Richmond Director of Rugby, level 4 coach and currently Rugby Master at Gordons school has come in to help with coaching. He is here to help Ryan and Tony and our other Coaches Cranners and Chris Dodd. It is always good to get a new perspective. He is here to help and assist as R & T see fit but the feedback is excellent.
We also welcome couple of new players signed just before the registration cut off. Jason Lizamore a 6’6” 18-year-old lock who came over from South Africa looking for adventure and to play some rugby. Jason is in the Sharks academy and has played Craven U20 and Currie Cup U20. We have also signed Sam Gratton a talented young 18-year-old prop who is part of the Harlequins Elite group who everyone has high hopes for. Sam had previously played in various age groups within the club, so welcome back. Please say hello to them and show them both our Brilliant Chobham hospitality. We look forward to them both turning out at Fowlers Wells.
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to a few people, I have already mentioned the medical team, but I would like to say a huge thank you to Tony Seers the 1st XV team manager. His work behind the scenes sometimes goes unnoticed and so I would just like to say you are very very much appreciated – thank you.
Well, next week is another one that is free from 1st XV action – that can only mean one thing – it is the annual pilgrimage to Paignton for the Martyrs and their ever increasing band of brothers – I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO looking forward to it. Remember TM MF and others you promised to look after me.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available: player sponsorship, pitch side hoardings, match day programme, match ball sponsorship and a host of other opportunities.
Everyone – enjoy the game, cheer loud and proud for Mighty Chobham and please be that 16th Man.
Next game is on 19th March away at Chiswick.