Momentum is everything in sport and Rainey Old Boys’ new head coach Richard Boyd is urging his team to continue last season’s good work by forging ahead on three rugby fronts when the new campaign resumes on Saturday.
The Magherafelt men start out with a tough Ulster Senior League fixture at Hamilton Park against Ards before they face their old rivals Armagh at Hatrick Park on September 7.
“In terms of our pre-season build up we couldn’t have asked for a better start,” Boyd told the MAIL.
“We played Coleraine and Clogher Valley, and the Seconds played Randalstown, and we were able to play 42 players.
“This rotation will hold to us when it comes to the Senior Cup in three weeks and the All Ireland League after that.
“It’s really all about maintaining the momentum when you go up a league and we aim to push on and be out of a relegation fight and consolidate in Division 2A by Christmas.
“I believe that we have now got the strength in depth in the squad that will allow us to compete in Ulster and Ireland.”
Highly regarded coach John Andrews, once of Ballymena and Dungannon, has joined the club as assistant and is joined by Strength and Conditioning coach, Ryan Keating.
“Our success last season was built on our defence,” Boyd continued. “We had the best defence in the AIL, but this year we want to add a bit more in attack.
“We’ve added a bit more experience to the pack - a few players have returned to the club - and we’ve definitely added some much needed depth to the backs.
“We’ve kept a good number of Magherafelt boys which is important because the team spirit last year was second to none.”
Boyd also admitted that the team were on the look out for an overseas import but would not be drawn on what position that player would take up, admitting only that things should be sorted in the next one to two weeks.
“To be honest, Rainey Old Boys RFC is an easy sell to any player coming in,” he said.
“We have facilities up there with the best right on our doorstep - a new 4G pitch and a new gym have been added which will give us a great benefit over the winter and in the longer term too. We also have access to the 3G indoor pitchs at Meadowbank.
“This season is all about momentum,” he repeated. “If we can get that winning mentality we will maybe have to reassess our targets at Christmas.”