Newmarket Rugby Club head coach trying to stay positive as first team approaches a year with no matches
February 29, 2020 – that was the last time Newmarket Rugby Club’s first team took to the field.
And with no return date currently scheduled due to Covid-19 restrictions, the wait for match action looks set to extend for some time yet.
Nevertheless, while there is some understandable frustration lingering within the ranks, head coach Martyn Wall is remaining upbeat.
He said: “We’ve got a really good bunch of people around the club and there has been a real effort made to keep everyone connected.
“We had spells where we could do some adapted training and things like that, but with no games on the horizon, it did become harder and harder.
“We had become resigned to the situation just before the lockdown and now it’s going to be over a year since we last played.
“But I’m pretty optimistic that we will get some games in before the end of the scheduled season, even though the season itself has been cancelled.
“Hopefully that can happen before May or June, and then we don’t need much of a break before going again with a new season around August.
“It’s been frustrating, but at the same time everyone is keen to build on the momentum we had before everything stopped. We were like a juggernaut.
“Our wings have been clipped a little bit for the last year but hopefully we can get back at it within the next couple of months.”
The other major concern for rugby clubs up and down country has been their junior sections.
With other sports – such as football, cricket and hockey – having been allowed to return mid-way through last year while rugby remained in hibernation, the fear was that youngsters would be tempted to move on.
However, Wall is confident Newmarket’s youth ranks will remain strong, and also believes numbers could swell once the green light is given.
“We’ve got a really good ethos at our club when it comes to the age group teams,” added Wall.
“There still seems to be a strong desire from our juniors to remain at the club.
“A lot of children under the age of 18 have missed out on a lot of school over the last year and also that team bonding that is massive in rugby.
“I actually think that once people feel safe again to get involved in sport, we might pick up a few newbies who are keen to give it a go.”
Meanwhile, last week the club confirmed they are now a hydration partner of leading brand iPRO Hydrate.