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Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club chief Jacob Ford accepts promotion may take time as the Wolfpack prepare to test themselves against joint leaders Esher



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After bringing up their first away win last weekend Jacob Ford is set to gauge how far away his Bury St Edmunds side are from the top two when joint leaders Esher visit the GK IPA Haberden tomorrow (3pm).

The Wolfpack go into the contest 13 points adrift of Redruth and Esher in ninth place, following a 17-9 win at basement side Westcliff.

But having set their stall out to grasp promotion from National League 2 South before another division at their level reduces the chances next season, Ford is accepting of the need for patience.

Jacob Ford gives a post-match talk to his Bury St Edmunds players after losing their winning home run to Clifton Picture: Mark Westley
Jacob Ford gives a post-match talk to his Bury St Edmunds players after losing their winning home run to Clifton Picture: Mark Westley

Asked if they needed to reset their lofty targets or whether a winning run could still bring them into position, he said: “I think for us this is always going to be a longer-term project in terms of if we get promoted this year or next year or even the year after that, we are trying to create a new identity not just as a first team but as a rugby club.

“I think we are learning that takes time and you have got to stay patient in that process of developing your game.

“When you want to play differently it takes time.

Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club director of rugby and head coach Jacob Ford is accepting that promotion may take time with a new-look squad and style of play Picture: Mark Westley
Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club director of rugby and head coach Jacob Ford is accepting that promotion may take time with a new-look squad and style of play Picture: Mark Westley

“I have talked to the players about Jurgen Klopp and when he went into Liverpool he wasn’t successful for the first two or three years and then they started playing his system pretty well after that.

“He added a few additions here and there to strengthen his squad and that is what we are doing.

“We have changed our recruitment policy, we have changed the way we play and the way we go about our preparation at the club.

“The real important thing for us is we keep getting better and moving forward every single week and we will see where that takes us.”

Centre Samir Kharbouch is back available after having to have surgery on his cheekbone Picture: Mecha Morton
Centre Samir Kharbouch is back available after having to have surgery on his cheekbone Picture: Mecha Morton

The weather conditions played a big part last Saturday but after conceding three penalties against the wind to go 9-0 down, Bury got a crucial converted try on the board just before half-time.

Despite some handling errors they kept the hosts out in the second half and a penalty try was awarded to them ahead of Charlie Reed adding three more points from a penalty kick.

Of his return to his former club, Ford said: “It was not a game of rugby really.

Winger Will Affleck is set to bring up his 100th appearance for the Haberden club this weekend Picture: Mecha Morton
Winger Will Affleck is set to bring up his 100th appearance for the Haberden club this weekend Picture: Mecha Morton

“The conditions dictated the way the game was played. We showed a lot of character and fight so we came through the other side which is brilliant.”

It will be a very different challenge this weekend though, against an Esher side who have chalked up five straight wins, including inflicting a 34-26 home defeat on Redruth.

But Ford says Bury will be ready to meet it head on.

“I think we’ve got a big point to prove after the Clifton game (33-25 home loss), we weren’t at our best that day and the challenge for us is can we get back to the performance we are looking for when we play at home especially?

“That is the challenge for us this week and we will be fired up to be the best we can be.”

Joe Green will be missing from the second row after going off with a head injury last weekend but centre Samir Kharbouch and winger Mike Stanway are set to return from injury.

Meanwhile, fellow winger Will Affleck is set to make his 100th appearance for the club in the game.