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Sheppey RFC coach Rob Dengate targets instant promotion next season after club's Kent 1 play-off defeat to Burgess Hill

Sheppey coach Rob Dengate Picture: John Westhrop
Sheppey coach Rob Dengate Picture: John Westhrop

Coach Rob Dengate has challenged Sheppey Rugby Club to make up for their double disappointment by winning Kent 1 next season.

Sheppey missed out on an instant return to London 3 South East when they were beaten 26-23 by Burgess Hill in a promotion play-off on Saturday.

And the tired Islanders finished the season empty-handed after a shock 26-5 defeat by Brockleians in the Kent Salver final the next day.

Dengate said: “What we have to do now is make sure we go one better and win the league next season. Forget the play-offs, let’s do it the right way and go up as champions.

“A lot of teams will be looking at us as the team to beat in the league and we’re also looking for another good national cup run and a run in the Kent Cup.

“The boys have given everything and I’m proud of their efforts in finishing runners-up and reaching a cup final. We haven’t got the outcomes we desired but we’ve moved on leaps and bounds in terms of the processes we’ve followed.

“We’ve taken big strides in player development and working on different ways to play. We’re not just forwards-orientated any more, we have different plans for different teams and conditions.

“But if I take anything out of this season as a coach, we’ve got to get the boys sharper and fitter for next year.”

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