10:17AM, Monday 22 January 2018
(Printed in the Maidenhead Advertiser on January 18, 2018)
Maidenhead RFC’s head coach says his team are ‘in a good place’ and ‘on the cusp’ of consistently winning away from home, something which remains their Achilles' heel.
Do we believe him or is he understandably papering over his team’s glaring weakness?
I am often called an old cynic – actually I’m often called a lot worse, but that’s a whole other ball game – however on this occasion I am on Russell Bolton’s side of the argument.
To be honest, it’s difficult not to be.
This is a coach who took over at a well run, popular, community-spirited club, but one which was underperforming at 1st team level.
The previous season (2014/15) they were almost relegated.
Two-and-a half seasons later they are in fourth place in level five rugby in their first season after gaining promotion.
They are one away from achieving 30 consecutive league victories at Braywick, and they are still improving and looking at what it takes to be a level four side.
So if Bolton truly believes that Maids are making steady improvements and could soon be a side which wins at least six or seven away matches a campaign, then fair enough.
Other local teams such as Henley and Redingensians went through their own regenerations and revolutions before progressing through the ranks, and I know those in control at Braywick believe they too can do something similar.
At the moment, and for once, I’m not going to argue with that.
I hope you are enjoying my new-look column as part of the revamped Advertiser.
My musings and thoughts now have the prominence I think they deserve, but then I’m biased and not at all modest.
I hope sports fans generally are happy with the changes to the Tiser as my colleagues and I now have 13 pages to play with, something which has not been the case for more than a decade.
We are always looking for feedback so let us know what you think of the new look, what you like and don’t like, and what could be added.
Drop sports editor Graeme Copas an email on email@example.com – just don’t tell him it was me who encouraged you!