Thu, 07 Jun 2018
NEWBURY Blues head coach Paul Archer wants to see the majority of last season’s squad available for the upcoming season in South West 1 East.
Blues were relegated from the South West Premier on the final day of last season, despite picking up 64 points.
Newbury had the same record as Maidenhead and Newton Abbot in third and fourth respectively, but due to bonus points, Blues were relegated.
Archer’s side will begin the task of returning to the South West Premier at the first time of asking when they travel to Stratford-upon-Avon on September 1 for the opening day of the season before hosting Swindon a week later at Monks Lane.
Blues' final game of the season is against Stratford at home.
After seeing the full set of fixtures, head coach Archer – who replaced Lee Goodall at the end of last season – said: “We’ve obviously got pre-season coming up, so I don’t think we’ll approach the Stratford game any differently than we would any other.
“They were in this division last year, so it’s going to be a difficult place to go, but firstly we need to sit down and go through our game and see how we are going to play this year.”
Former Blues player Archer believes recruitment will be key throughout the summer.
He said: “We expect the majority of last year’s squad to remain, but we’re in the process of recruiting.
“We also have the mindset that with the squad we had last year we are looking to strengthen, but not at any cost.”
Archer will be keeping an eye on Newbury Colts – the Blues’ under-18 squad – assessing which players could step up to the first team.
He said: “The aim is to retain a good proportion of last year’s Colts team with the hope of bringing them up to the senior squad.
“Max Hayman was one of those who stepped up last year and we expect more of it this season, but we’re also open to people joining the club.”
Archer also admitted that Blues are on the lookout for coaches ahead of the new season and anyone interested should contact the club.
Further to this, anyone keen to play for the club in some capacity should also get in contact or visit the Blues website for more.