Mildenhall & Red Lodge set to be promoted as champions to highest level in club's history
Mildenhall & Red Lodge look set to be playing rugby at the highest level in the club’s history next season.
While official ratification from the Eastern Counties is still required, for all intents and purposes the Red Lodge-based outfit will be declared Greene King 2 West champions after a positive campaign.
They lost just twice and when the coronavirus pandemic halted all sport last month, a nine-point gap to Haverhill & District in second position had been established.
“It has been such a strange end to the season,” said captain and club secretary Iain Hunter.
“We started with a bang and then the season seemed to fizzle out with postponements and the coronavirus.
“But it is fantastic that we are going up and it’s the result of a lot of hard work from a lot of different people.
“Our former chairman Jeff Kennelly gave us a good foundation and the new chair Alison Graveston has built on that.
“It has also been a challenge for our coach Dale Pellatt because he has players with varying degrees of experience and ability, but he has dealt with that very well.
“Three years ago we would only have five or six players at training. When I became captain I had three aims and the first was to increase player numbers.
“Then I wanted to win a cup – which we did last year – and after that promotion.
“It was also great having Haverhill push us all the way. They are a great club and well done to them on their promotion as well.”
Whenever the 2020/21 season gets under way, Mildenhall & Red Lodge are set to ply their trade in the Eastern Counties 1 West.
It will match them up against some bigger clubs in the area, but Hunter is hopeful that his men will be able to hold their own.
“We are currently within a five-year plan and part of that is for us to have a season of consolidation,” he added.
“Hopefully we can strengthen the squad a little bit and bring in one or two players with a bit more experience.
“It is going to be the highest level the club has ever played at, and also the highest level a lot of the players have been at.
“We still want the players to enjoy themselves and to keep coming every week, but we also want to be competitive.”
More by this authorLiam Apicella