Crows are ready for promotion challenge

Fly-half insists ‘stronger’ squad is gunning for glory


ROYSTON fly-half Michael Schurch says the Crows are determined to mount a serious promotion push when the 2012/13 season kicks off in September.

The Crows suffered last year with key members of the squad unable to feature week in, week out, but still secured a mid-table finish in the Herts/Middlesex 2 division despite being deducted points for cancelling matches.

The way the league was rearranged meant there were a couple of teams that should have been playing a couple of tiers higher, but Royston held their own, and with a growing youth contingent and some new faces in the senior set-up, it is clear that everyone feels it’s time to take advantage of a fresh beginning and to take the club to the next level.

“We have a new management team with Nick Alford and Sam Morris, along with new coach Robert Turner who will take over the training and hopefully they can lead the team to promotion,” Schurch told the Crow.

“Rob has been away at university where he learnt a lot under his coach there, so we’re hoping he can bring some of that back to us. But one of the best things from a team point of view is the return of twin brothers Dan and Ben Ritsema from university.

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“Both of them were brought through the club’s Colts system, but they never got the chance to play for the first team as the went off to Uni. But they are extremely good players and I’m sure they will have a massive impact on the squad.”

“Everyone is looking forward to the new season,” he continued. “Now we have got a settled squad we’ve all got our eyes on top spot. Sam and Nick will make sure everyone is well-drilled, so we’re confident we can really push on this season.”

The second team is also hopeful of a good season after finishing third in the Greene King Deuxieme League last year as well as reaching the semi-final of the cup.

Last year’s U14s enjoyed a great season by winning the league and with several of the boys getting into the county sides, coach Dave Ayliffe believes Royston RFC is becoming a breeding ground for young talent.

The U13s last year only lost one match after Christmas to bounce back from a difficult start in their first season playing 15-a-side, suggesting there is a lot to come this time around.

As well as success on the pitch, Schurch added that the club will continue to go from strength to strength off it. “Over the past few years some great events have been put on to raise money for the club to improve facilities like the new changing rooms next to the Heath Sports Club,” he said.

“Royston Rugby Club has always been a great social team and is always looking for ways to have fun off the pitch and put some money back into the club that has served them so well. The next project is to get a permanent floodlit training facility.”

n The club is putting on pre-season fitness training at the Heath every Tuesday at 7pm, with anyone welcome to attend.