Spotlight on the bigger picture for Cambridge
Summer recruitment with an eye to the future
Ross Stewart believes Cambridge Rugby Club’s greater strength in depth will stand them in good stead in building a sustainable National League One future.
Cambridge kick off the new campaign this Saturday with a trip to Fylde, and it has been a busy summer at Volac Park.
While there have been a number of established names make a move to the club, one of the main focuses has been growing the pool of players.
The ultimate aim is to create a competitive second team, which will compete in the Zoo Sports Shield, and be pushing for selection to the first team.
“Losing David Langley, Dan Seal and Ricky Reeves in the front row, there is no underestimating the experience those guys had and Stefan Liebenberg as a captain and a clubman is a loss,” said director of rugby Stewart.
“But we have recruited in all areas and we can add to it as we go – we’ve got a little bit of room there.
“We’ve recruited some young lads that are keen to play and take their opportunities.
“The recruitment has been bigger than people think as we’re running two squads this year so we’ve recruited for the bigger picture and will feed into the wider squad.
“For some of the younger lads, it’s their first time in senior rugby. It’s for them to understand that it’s harder and a lot tougher mentally.
“We’ve recruited to build a foundation and to sustain National League One rugby.
“Where we want to be, we have to have two teams playing and competing week in, week out.
“Entering the Zoo League, it is almost as good as National Two.
“A lot of the London-based teams have the backdrop, and teams sustaining it (National One) have got a pool below that senior squad that they can rely on.”
Looking ahead to the campaign, Stewart said: “It’s about momentum and one of the things we have to make sure we don’t do is panic, we have a big squad and we have to rely on what we do through the season.”