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Haverhill & District Rugby Club reprieved from Eastern Counties Greene King Division One West relegation as captain Zac Evans labels season ‘frustrating’





Haverhill & District have been reprieved from relegation in the Eastern Counties Greene King Division One West as captain Zac Evans admitted last season was one of ‘frustration’.

Evans’ side finished second from bottom in the table having lost 14 of their 20 matches last campaign, but, as the skipper ‘expected’, the club will remain in the division alongside many of the teams that competed in it last term.

The Haverhill captain labelled player availability as the main reason why his side struggled for form, with the club conceding four walkovers last season, and admitted there were a number of games where they would turn up with less than 15 players which ‘set up a loss from the get-go’.

Haverhill finished second from bottom in the table. Picture: Mecha Morton
Haverhill finished second from bottom in the table. Picture: Mecha Morton

When asked how he viewed the campaign, Evans said: “Frustration, I guess. I think there’s games that we didn’t win but I feel like we could’ve done.

“I think there’s probably only one or two teams in that league that I wouldn’t back Haverhill against on any day. I would say that we could beat any team in the league.

“It’s great saying that, as we came second from bottom, but on our day we can. I truly believe that. It’s just the player availability that’s just such a frustration for me this year.

Haverhill will host touch tournaments throughout the summer. Picture: Mecha Morton
Haverhill will host touch tournaments throughout the summer. Picture: Mecha Morton

“Pulling players out on Friday evening and Saturday morning, it’s just not good enough.”

There is no doubt more players are needed at Haverhill’s disposal next season.

Evans is due to sit down with the club’s chairman next week to discuss recruitment plans, but Haverhill are looking to host touch tournaments throughout the summer, with the hope that some of the people who compete in them are potentially good enough to join the first team.

The side are also hoping to be buoyed by Matt Brown stepping up to a head coach role, after he suffered a career-ending injury last season. The plan would be for him to work alongside player-coach Connor Flannaghan.

Haverhill have been reprieved from relegation. Picture: Mecha Morton
Haverhill have been reprieved from relegation. Picture: Mecha Morton

A positive Evans was pleased to look back on was the emergence of talent from the club’s colts side, as he revealed there are four or five young players who have ‘shown their worth’ during spells in the youth and first teams.

These players have made up a core group that have appeared in the majority of Haverhill’s match-day squads, and the skipper is keen to grow this nucleus.

“It’s not going to be a one-season fix. This is two, three, four seasons in the making. We’re only just starting to reap what we’ve sown with the core nucleus we’ve got at the moment,” he said.

Haverhill captain Zac Evans was impressed with how the club’s colts performed in the first team last season Picture: Mecha Morton
Haverhill captain Zac Evans was impressed with how the club’s colts performed in the first team last season Picture: Mecha Morton

“We'll double that next year, and the year after, and the year after, and hopefully Haverhill Rugby Club can get back to where it should be.

“The players are there, there is a fantastic bunch there, it’s just commitments (for people) that have come up.”

The new season is due to start in September.