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Head Coach Update from Todd Louden

It may seem that we welcomed the New Year in just yesterday - but the rugby specific reality is that we are coming to the end of a 6-week pre-season from January 14th and are now entering into an important trial period.

As a club we are shifting from a predominant skills-based program to a game knowledge and organisational period for 5 weeks whilst still developing physical and mental resilience.

Sydney Premiership Rugby has changed a great amount in the last 3 years, evident in the semi professionalism of some clubs, the TV rights which you may have read about in the news, as well as exponential increase in development and competition performance norms.

On and off the field we are learning what it will take in terms of mindset, commitment, training volume, operations and management to attain sustainable success in the current competition.

There have been a lot of positive changes in the off-season and yet still there is a lot more work to be completed in the next 6 weeks and during the season as we fine tune our systems and structures on and off the field to scale the 2020 Performance Mountain we have set ourselves.

It is fair to say that most of the players have never experienced a pre-season with the intensity, volume, contact, design and focus as they currently are. The players are adapting to the requirements of both the competition and the base game model the Club will be playing in 2020. The trial period will also test their mettle with a greater focus on team organisation and play as we prepare for a difficult start to the season in terms of opposition in Rounds 1 - 3.

The plan and approach of developing from the bottom up is already evident with a greater skill and base game knowledge across the entire club.

The players that have been consistent in their training are already very fit and have a solid understanding of the base game in 2020. In fact, the majority of the players are seeing the results of their hard work and are open to the huge learning curve that is taking place at every training session.

The coaching team are also hungry to develop and it’s an absolute pleasure to see the discussion amongst coaches as we all search to improve as individuals and the Club.

Our Colts teams are a very young group with a lot talent. Keeping our colts together for the next few years is critical as they are the future of the club. The strategy for our Colts is long term.

Our grade is also very young as we are very much focused on developing homegrown talent. There is a lot of competition for most positions at training and it will be the team players that persevere, compete every session and are prepared to learn as much as they can, that will win their spots in the highest grades and perform this season.

The Senior and Junior club partnership is going from strength to strength and we are working closely to improve the holistic playing pathway in the region. There is some exciting news on the horizon in terms of development resources and player engagement in our local schools so keep a close eye on Southern Districts Juniors for information on this.

Key Dates

  • Kiama 7’s – Men’s and Women’s Teams competing – 29th February Season Launch – 27th March
  • Family Island Night – 28th March

March Trials

  • West Harbour - 7th March
  • Western Sydney Two Blues - 14th March
  • Manly Marlins - 21st March
  • Wanderers Newcastle - 28th March

It’s far too early to make a prediction on the season, outside of saying that the playing group will not die wondering and every grade team will fight hard to represent what we are working hard for.

There are a number of ways you can support the Club this season

  • Family and Friends follow us on all social media platforms
  • Purchase a membership package
  • Become a financial member
  • Fully Tax deductable donation to the Australian Sports Foundation
  • Get involved anyway you can

The club's community is one of its strongest assets and we hope that you can join us in showing the competition in 2020 our Rebel Pride.

Todd

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