Hinckley RFC have already stated that their ambition is to secure promotion for their 1st XV this season but there is similar buzz around Leicester Road with regard to the Club’s Colts side.
Last season was something of a work in progress for the Junior Hornets. Much of the team had been playing in the U16’s side the previous year and therefore struggled in the early part of the season to cope with the physicality and speed at the higher level.
The team went out in the second round of the National Cup but slowly began to assert themselves as the season progressed and eventually achieved a respectable top half finish in the Leicestershire Colts league.
The highlight of the season, however, was when a combined U16/U17 side reached the final of the Leicestershire cup competition. It proved something of a heartbreak for the lads as they narrowly lost to a strong Harborough side in the final few minutes of a closely fought game.
That performance, however, has led to considerable optimism in the camp for the coming season. The majority of the players turning out that day will continue to be eligible for the Colts in the coming season, whereas many of their local rivals, including Market Harborough, have lost much of their side to senior rugby.
Team Manager Andy Hubbard commented, ‘Last season was definitely a learning curve for many of the lads but the bonus is that we now have one of the most experienced sides in the County. Given that, we are quietly optimistic about the new season and will be disappointed if we don’t achieve a top four finish in the League and we’re hoping for better. As we see it, Harborough, Lutterworth and Loughborough will be our main rivals this year. As to the National competition, it all depends who you draw in the early rounds but we think we have as good a chance as we have had for some years of reaching the latter stages.’
The team has also been buoyed by the return to the Club of former first team captain Ben Ashfield to take up the role of Head Coach. ‘Ben is a Hinckley man through and through,’ stated Hubbard, ‘and it will be a real bonus having someone with his experience and know-how to move the team onto the next level. And with (former Tigers scrum half) Darren Grewcock overseeing the whole development set up, we feel we have the support in place to get the best out of the lads.’
The team open their campaign on 7 September with a festival appearance at South Leicester but the serious business will begin when they visit Market Bosworth on September 14.
Any players who would like to get involved with the Club is welcome to contact Andy Hubbard on 07505095481 or simply come along to one of the training sessions. Training is at Leicester Road on Tuesdays and Thursdays with matches played on Saturday afternoons.