Bury St Edmunds can’t rely on local players alone to achieve their targets, says chairman

The Wolfpack's Will Affleck has re-signed for the new season.

The Wolfpack's Will Affleck has re-signed for the new season.

Bury St Edmunds chairman Mike Robinson says the Wolfpack must continue to look far and wide if they are to progress up the rugby pyramid.

The National 2 side are preparing for their third straight campaign at that level, following an historic promotion in 2015, and have already drafted in Italian duo Daniele Greco and Federico Silvestre, along with Irish import, Yasin Browne.

A number of homegrown players have also re-signed for the new campaign too – the likes of Matt Edison, Chris Snelling, Will Affleck, Harry Anderson-Brown – but Robinson admitted there needed to, and will, be an influx of players from further afield if the club is to keep progressing up the rugby pyramid.

“Nothing would give us much more pleasure than seeing 18 local lads line up for the first team on a Saturday,” said Robinson, whose side have also signed Ipswich’s Tui Uru.

“Unfortunately and sadly, we are not in that position as there are local lads playing elsewhere and others that, for a number of reasons, can’t put in the level of commitment needed.

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“We are working hard to develop from Bury St Edmunds and other areas nearby and there are players coming through the system.

“However, we can’t sustain this level of rugby union with local players, so we are having to look far and wide for talent.”

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The club have spoken in recent times of having a five-year plan to reach the Championship, and having made great strides in recent seasons, and Robinson does not think such a target is out of reach.

“I am a firm believer in any aspect of your life that if you don’t have ambition, you are not going to go anywhere,” the Bury chairman added.

“The problem with the world is, it is moving too fast and if you don’t have ambition, you are effectively moving backwards.

“You have to have ambition and that is why we are bringing in quality players and coaches, because we aspire to play at a higher level.

“If it was not achievable we would not set out reaching the Championship as an ambition.

“We know a lot of things need to change at the club in order for us to get stronger and be in a stronger financial position, but if someone had said eight or nine years ago that we would be in National 2, they would have probably been called crazy.”

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