RUGBY: Huntingdon chief delivers honest assessment of debut season as he looks to plot a bright future

Action from Huntingdon's victory against Bedford side Queens this season. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONT

Action from Huntingdon's victory against Bedford side Queens this season. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONT - Credit: Archant

Player-coach Reggie Reid admits he is ‘a little disappointed’ with his first season at the Huntingdon helm.

Huntingdon player/coach Reggie Reid. Picture: SUBMITTED

Huntingdon player/coach Reggie Reid. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Reid took charge of Stags last summer when replacing long-serving Damien Whales in the hotseat.

He inherited a club who had suffered back-to-back relegations to fall from Midlands Division One East into Midlands Division Three East (South).

And while Reid has succeeded in arresting the slide, he clearly hoped for better than a ninth-placed finish in a season now brought to an early climax by Coronavirus with five games to be played.

“On the whole I’m a little disappointed with how the season panned out,” said Reid in an honest assessment of his debut campaign as boss.“In my mind I thought the new coaching team would have a larger influence a lot sooner.

Action from Huntingdon's success against Daventry in Midlands Division Three East (South). Picture:

Action from Huntingdon's success against Daventry in Midlands Division Three East (South). Picture: DUNCAN LAMONT - Credit: Archant


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“But it’s a shame the season has been cut short as we are definitely making progress and we had a good run of very winnable games ahead of us.

“That would have given us a good finish to the season and provided a lot of confidence moving in to next season.

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“We have a very talented squad which is capable of playing a great brand of rugby in much higher leagues.

“I’m not sure if it’s a sign of the time – or possibly a hangover from previous campaigns – but excuses seem to prevail rather than hard work and rolling the sleeves up.

“In the most part the players have bought in to what we’re trying to do and given time they will see the fruits of their hard work.

“I just wish we could get a few more faces to training during the week so we have a bit more continuity for games on a Saturday.”

Stags won six of their 17 games this season and were beaten on 10 occasions.

It’s a record they are keen to better in 2020/21 with Reid already focused on adding new personnel – both from inside and outside the club – to his squad.

He added: “We have great potential and it’s my job to try to unlock that and tap into the quality we possess ready for next season.

“The support from the committee has been great. They have really backed our new team and allowed us to have autonomy over what we do.

“I really want to attract some new faces – whether that be players returning to the game or young players looking for more first XV rugby.

“I definitely feel we need to freshen up a little bit and add some new talent in order to progress.

“We have a talented crop of Colts who will be old enough to play in senior rugby and as they train with us already, they should blend into the squad.

“I also want to try to build resilience in the lads and get their confidence back.”

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