BRIDLINGTON RUFC return to action this weekend, kicking off with a tough Yorkshire Shield tie at Hullensians.
But director of rugby Kieran Lawry is confident his troops can start their season with a win, before the league campaign gets underway with a home clash against relegated Pontefract.
And he believes a tough pre-season training prgramme will stand his team in good stead for the months ahead.
Lawry said: “After a long and gruelling pre-season full of sweat, tears and The Greyhound’s 32oz Mega steaks, the season finally kicks off with a bang on Saturday in the first round of the Yorkshire Shield, with a tricky away fixture to Hullensians.
“We are aiming to go far in the competition this year but could not have had a harder start on the road to the tough Hull outfit who, only last week, beat Beverley from three leagues above.
“We are going into the match full of confidence after a good performance against Bradford in our last pre-season warm up.
“Despite having a number of players unavailable we still have a strong squad to choose from and thanks to the effort that has been shown on our summer fitness programme the majority of the lads, including some in the twilight of their career, are looking fitter than ever.
“This should help us with our attempts to play a fast paced game and keep the ball moving.”
The club has been able to keep the majority of last season’s squad together but there has been a change relating to the captain’s armband.
“Influential back row Mark Oliver has stepped up as club captain for the season and with the full support of the club I’m sure he will be a great success.
“We have lost a couple of players in the off season, mainly to university, but have had a massive boost by the return of the exciting running back Sizwe Zondo.,” said Lawry.
There will again be a strong youth presence in the first team squad. “We also have a number of excellent young players from last season’s successful under 17s team who have been training hard with the seniors and are looking to force their way into the reckoning.
“Yorkshire One has gained an even more local feel this year with the addition to Scarborough and York from last year of Pocklington and our long standing friends and rivals Driffield, who will all add to what must surely be the most competitive season for years. We look forward to an entertaining and challenging season ahead,” he added.
Squad: Rob Medforth, Ben Lawry, Adam Dixon, Tom Benninger, Micky Edmond, Daniel Perkin, Ali Sutton, Paddy Waines, Stevie Mellonby, Martin Robinson, AJ Burrows, Kieran Lawry, Ryan Girking, Regan Stirk, Sizwe Zondo. Replacements: Mark Floyd, Gary Heeley, Jamie Muru, Tom Wilson