Bears ready for NCL debut
This weekend sees the start of a pivotal season for the Coventry Bears as they compete in the Hattons Solicitors National Conference League.
The midlands outfit will be spending 2013 in the flagship community league ahead of stepping up to the Kingstone Press Championship 1 and fans who take up the club’s call to arms and “Join The Roar” will see a vastly different line-up this season.
With some new and exciting players coming into the squad head coach Tom Tsang is in a confident mood ahead of tomorrow’s season opener at Wigan St Cuthberts.
"Having lost over 10 of last year’s regular starters we were forced to recruit heavily over the off-season,” said Tsang.
“Through this we have had a strong group of players join us from Loughborough University, headed by England SRL captain Mark Wilson.
Another crucial signing is former Leeds Metropolitan University and Sheffield Eagles forward Ben Tyers. Ben will give us valuable experience in the pack and will provide good go forward for our exciting backline.”
In the backs we have retained powerful three-quarter Ross Bayston, but don’t be surprised to see Ross doing some hard work in the forwards at times this year.”
Also, we have picked up a group of talented, young Australians who will all be pushing for a starting spot in the team. We are hoping halfbacks Trent Achilles and Ryan Gowing can form a lethal partnership and steer this exciting group of players around the park.”
The move into the newly formed NCL division will be somewhat of a step into the unknown and the Bears will be playing most teams for the first time in their history. We are expecting tough and physical encounters each week, and we know we will be tested in the forwards in every game.”
However, after our strong showing against Championship 1 opposition North Wales Crusaders in pre-season we are confident of being able to match teams through the middle and allow our backs to click into place.”
It’s hard to predict where we will finish in the league but as a squad we are aiming for a top-four placing by the mid-point in the season. We will look to see if we achieve this goal and re-assess at that point."
The challenge of St Cuthberts is not lost on the squad and a strong team is being fielded against the ex-North West Men’s League Premier Division club who last season made their division’s play-offs.
Coventry Bears squad v Wigan St Cuthberts:
1 Dan Durston 2 Fabrizio Ciaurro 3 Ross Bayston 4 Gavin Grant 5 Chris Dixon 6 Trent Achilles 7 Ben West 8 Ben Tyers 9 Reece Needham 10 Stefano Cardella 11 Mat Turner 12 Tom C Davies 13 Stephen Coleman 14 Demo Gonsalves 15 Ryan Gowing 16 Ben Vivian 17 Andy Cooper 18 Richard Synnott 19 David O’Connor 20 Francesco De Milito
The Bears are inviting rugby league fans everywhere to get behind the club this season, with various ways to follow, watch and support the club in the hugely popular “Join The Roar” campaign.
For more information on getting involved with the club go to www.coventrybears.co.uk/roar