Thu, 30 May 2019
NEWBURY Blues head coach Paul Archer admitted that it was difficult to select from a wealth of players for the club’s end-of-season awards last week.
After a stunning season, which saw Newbury win 25 of their 26 games in South West 1 East, they secured promotion back to South West Premier.
And players from the Blues, Stags, Colts and As were all in attendance at Monks Lane to celebrate earlier this month.
“It was a good night and in terms of the awards, it was difficult to come to a conclusion from a coaching point of view,” admitted Archer.
“Everyone who stepped, across all the teams, has done a brilliant job and it was great to recognise them.”
James Macaulay scooped the coaches’ player of the year award and Archer believes he was a worthy winner.
“For the coaches’ player of the year, we could have chosen between 30 or 40 guys because everyone made an unreal amount of effort throughout the season.
“But James started a few games at tight-head and he leads in a really good way, so it was pleasing to recognise him and he is certainly influential in his own right.”
Kyle Doel also picked up an award, as his teammates voted him the club’s player of the year.
“He is a massive piece of our puzzle and his effort levels are always huge,” he said. “He also leads in a very unique way as he doesn’t always need to shout.
“He isn’t scared to challenge and doesn’t necessarily need to force things if they need to be changed.”
Harvey North – who scored more than 20 tries for the first-team this season – was the winner of the supporters’ player of the year.
And Archer admitted that it was a close race, with Max Hayman also in with a shout of winning.
“Max has had an outstanding season,” said Archer. “He is some player and you forget that he is relatively new to rugby.
“He plays his game and he is fantastic to watch.”
But eventual winner North was worthy of the award after a brilliant first-season with the club.
“He has been a revelation on the wing,” he said. “When your strike rate is over one try a game, you know you’re doing well.
“He has been fantastic and the great thing about Harvey is that he is relatively unassuming because when we talk to him, he is always pretty humble.”
Alex Weekes, a player who has spent a number of years with Blues, picked up the ‘most improved’ award.
And Archer said: “He’s been here since he was young and he has improved massively over the time I have known him.
“His attitude is fantastic, he always wants to get better and he is always asking the right questions.”
Elsewhere, Harry Waye-Brach won the Stags’ award, a player that has featured a number of times for the first-team.
“He has played some games for Berkshire U20s as well, so he is a really bright prospect and it was pleased to see him recognised by his peers.”
Tom Birch picked up the accolade in the A team, and Archer admitted that although he doesn’t see much of him, he has a strong future.
“I don’t see that much of him, but every time I do he looks like he is enjoying himself, It shows that guys who have the right behaviour get recognised.”