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Are Beaconsfield ready for Southern Counties kick-off
BEACONSFIELD RFC enter unchartered waters tomorrow as they kick off the new season at a higher level than ever before.
Their storming promotion out of Southern Counties North last May saw them elevated to Level Six for the first time in their history.
It should be all systems go then, but instead enthusiasm appears to have died a death during the close season.
Head coach Allan Greene said: “I’ve played at this level before and there is nothing to be frightened of. But I’m apprehensive to say the least, pre-season hasn’t gone to my liking.”
Uninspiring results against Drifters and Cleve are part of it, but it’s been the numbers at training that has alarmed Greene.
He said: “We’ve been getting ten, 12 players down. I don’t know what’s happened.
“We had 48 unavailabilities against Cleve and there are 25 unavailable for [tomorrow’s opponents] Letchworth that I know of already.
“I’m bamboozled. If we spoke about playing Letchworth two years ago people would have laughed at us.
“Now we’re doing it and it will be the highest ranked game we’ve ever played, but we’ll be going there with a really depleted side.
“I thought they’d be champing at the bit, especially as it’s the first game of the season. I’ve put out a few emails to shake them up and had players meetings, but I just don’t know where this has come from.”
Apart from school holidays, one possible explanation has been the RFU’s decision to bump Beaconsfield across from South West 1 East to London 1 North, a move that has robbed the club of Bucks derbies with Wycombe and Marlow while also adding countless miles to their away fixtures.
Greene said: “The players get coached around and looked after. But they’ve been voting with their feet at training.
“With the new players coming along, I feel embarrassed.”
In total, nine of the team that started their final game of last season will not be available for tomorrows opener.
Greene said: “I’ve got a team in mind, but it’s not the one I want to put out. It’s disappointing because we wanted to go there and give a really good account of ourselves.
“But maybe they’ll surprise us on the day – it will have to be on the day, because I’ve not seen anything at training.”