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Published: 00:00, 04 September 2014 |
Updated: 11:02, 04 September 2014
Head coach Andy Pratt says his promising Canterbury squad can fight for promotion to National 1 this season.
The city club begin their National 2 South campaign with a testing trip to Bristol side Clifton on Saturday but Pratt is in confident mood after a positive pre-season continued with a battling loss at higher-division Old Albanians on Saturday and hopes his squad can improve on their fourth-placed finish last season.
He said: “I’m happy with the lads. It’s a tight group and we’ve had a good pre-season with some pleasing performances. It’s a difficult start, Clifton were the only team we didn’t beat last season but if we could get a win, it would be a real statement to start the season.
“We want to push on. We’ve asked the lads what their aspirations are and they have all come back and said basically that they want to improve.
“We can learn some new lessons from last season and now know we are capable of competing with all the top sides.”
Pratt added: “My personal ambition is to put out the best side Canterbury has ever fielded. That’s difficult to judge so I suppose in tangible terms, we want to improve on fourth last season – and that means top-three.
“How we play is also important. We want people to come and watch and be exciting to watch. Hopefully, with the age of the side and the potential we have, we’ll start to see more and more of it.”
Canterbury will miss the retired Chris Hinkins, Matt Pinnick and Steve Goode this season, although they have added prop Sam Kenny from Thanet, former Saracens academy back-row Ryan Ward and prop Neil Wakefield (pictured) has returned from Dover.
Pratt added: “We have a lot of good young players. I am looking forward to seeing the likes of Alex Wake-Smith, Aiden Moss, Guy Hilton and Kwaku Asiedu.
“They have the added experience from last year and it will be good to see how they have developed.
“With young players like them, they improve with age and experience.”
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