Work in progress for Shelford as the building blocks are put in place
Paul Allen wants to see Shelford continue to put in place the building blocks as they grow into the London League 1N season.
They suffered a 29-14 defeat at home to North Walsham last Saturday, but they certainly suggested they are moving in the right direction after last season’s relegation.
After a 25-24 loss to Colchester on the opening day, there is an argument to be made that they were, in part, architects of their own downfall against North Walsham, giving away too many soft points.
But though the new head coach had frustrations and misgivings with the display, there were also some encouraging signs.
“It was the second game in and is definitely work in progress,” said Allen.
“Am I happy? No, but I said to the lads at the end of the game that I can’t fault any of them for the effort they put in.
“To score a try at the end, even though the game had gone, showed we weren’t defeated mentally so the lads are in a strong place.
“The performance was five out of 10, with quite a lot to improve on.”
Allen compared the two opening performances – against Colchester and North Walsham – and felt there were improvements made, although they highlighted certain issues.
“Last week we were unhappy with the set piece. This week we’re really happy with the set piece,” said Allen.
“I think this week, our backline under performed so we’ve got to work the synergy between them both where we peak at the right times.
“We are tweaking things generally. We’ve come in and changed systems and how we want to play.
“We only get the lads three hours a week so it’s a lot to take in and we’re probably not quite where we want to be yet.
“I think we need to understand – so maybe I need to rein myself in a bit – that this could be up to 12 weeks before we’re where we need to be.”
The head coach can see the building blocks being put in place though.
“There’s no pretending that we wanted to put on a show, but we knew North Walsham were going to be tough,” he added.
“The set piece has gone really well, it’s just some moments in the backline that didn’t quite latch on to that so the building blocks now is to get both performing well which may take another few weeks.
“Let’s take that on the chin, as we got beaten by a better side, and with those building blocks, let’s put another one in place next week.”
Shelford are away to Sudbury this Saturday (September 21).