Bury St Edmunds coach Gavin Hogg hopes meticulous approach pays dividends
- Credit: Archant
Bury St Edmunds’ director of rugby Gavin Hogg will play the percentage game this year as the Green & Ambers look to establish themselves as a National League side for the first time.
The Haberden-based outfit enjoyed an unblemished campaign last time out to seal promotion to SSE National League 3 London & SE – the biggest achievement in the club’s history, making them one of only two Suffolk sides to ever reach the National League.
The team open their historic campaign with a home game against Kent side Old Elthamians on September 7, and with just over three weeks to go to the big kick-off, Hogg and his new-look coaching team are leaving no stone unturned in their bid to get everything they can from the squad.
“When you are dealing with individuals that have played at a good standard already, you are not going to improve them by a further 15 or 20 per cent,” said Hogg.
“What we have to do is to identify 10 to 12 areas in our play and try to improve each one by one or two per cent.
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“It’s about looking at the little aspects of our play in our meetings and making sure we are comfortable in games with 10-12 minutes to go and that we still have a chance of winning if we are three to six points down.
“The games will be a lot more finely balanced this season and, unlike last season, we will not be given 12-15 chances a game to score a try.”
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Hogg has moved up to the role of director of rugby and he will receive help to implement his strategies from forward coaches Tim Grimsey and Martin Steele and backs experts Chris Roome and Andy Price.
“The next three weeks will be all about fine-tuning certain elements of our game,” added Hogg. “We have sat down with small groups of players to work on things and are starting to see bits and pieces taking shape.”
The league is largely an unknown quantity to the Suffolk team but Hogg insists his group of players will give it their best shot.
“Certainly long term we would like to think we would be pushing for another promotion, maybe in a year or two,” he said.
“At the moment, we have to set short-term goals and what we will do is assess the first six games, having given our all, and look to see whether we can push on to Christmas.
“But we have worked very hard to get to this point. We will step up to the mark and enjoy the challenge, week in, week out.”