With the summer recess having raced by Chobham RFC’s senior players have reported back for duty. Director of Rugby, Nigel Guy and the 1st XV coaching team of Ryan Gregory and Tony Paul welcomed all of the players to the first pre-season session led by Strength and Conditioning Coach Steve Keywood.
After a successful year in London 1 South Chobham have been busy during the close season. During the summer the club have continued to develop its coaching resources. Current Youth Development Officer Liam Cranford has taken on additional responsibility and has been appointed 2nd XV Head Coach. In addition Chris Dodd, who is well known to Chobham having played for the club at mini, junior and 1st XV level prior to embarking on a coaching career that has included coaching spells in league and union with Harlequins has been appointed Head Coach of the club’s two Development XV’s.
Nigel Guy commented, “A cornerstone of the success of Chobham is the seamless integration of our junior players into our senior rugby structure. Last season over 60% of our 1st XV came through our mini/junior set up. It is therefore vital that we enhance the coaching experience for our young players as they move into senior rugby and the appointments of Liam and Chris will enable us to do this more effectively”.
Head Coach Ryan Gregory also welcomed the appointments saying, “We are ambitious for success and harnessing our talent with quality coaching across the senior rugby teams will support this. It is great to be back on the paddock and we are challenging ourselves to improve on last year’s performance when we finished in 5th place. There are some new teams in the league this year and I feel it will be more competitive but the boys look in good shape and raring to go”.
With preseason friendlies to come in August against Richmond, Maidenhead and Windsor, Gregory is keen to see plenty of competition for places amongst his squad adding, “Preseason is a fresh start and I am looking for all our players to recognise that they have the opportunity to grab a 1st XV shirt. We will be monitoring both training performance and commitment to see who is putting their hands up for selection. With the quality of our young players coming through I am sure there will be a surprise bolter or two”.
Chobham is a thriving community club which provides rugby for players from the age of 6 years. We currently field 5 senior (over 17 years) league teams, all playing competitive rugby ranging from the 1st XV who play at level 6 in the RFU league pyramid through to the 5th XV who whilst playing in a league format focus equally on the social aspects of the game. Senior training is from 7.15pm to 9pm, every Tuesday and Thursday.