Bury St Edmunds feeling effects of gruelling season in National 3

Bury St Edmunds entertain Dorking on the last home game of the season on Saturday at the Haberden wh

Bury St Edmunds entertain Dorking on the last home game of the season on Saturday at the Haberden where the visitors romped home by 40 points - Credit: Archant

Bury St Edmunds chairman Mike Robinson has conceded the team are beginning to feel the effects of a gruelling first season at national level, but insists they will be stronger for the experience next season.

Going in to their final two National 3 (London & SE) games of the season, at Hertford on Saturday (tomorrow), and at league leaders Old Elthamians next week, Gavin Hogg’s men sit sixth in the table but still harbour ambitions of a top five finish.

Such an achievement would represent a great first season at national league level, when so many other promoted sides struggle just to compete at the higher level.

However, the team have endured an indifferent end to the campaign, losing three of their last four games, and that has yielded minor disappointment at The Haberden, with the team’s early-season form having raised the bar somewhat.

“If you had asked us at the start of the season if we would be happy with our current position, we would have said very much so,” said Robinson.

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“The last couple of weeks have brought a couple of disappointing results and the problem is that because we have done reasonably well and been fairly successful this season, there has been a rise in expectations.

“There is a big step up in intensity, physicality and pace at this level and we are getting to the stage of the season where the players’ tanks are getting empty and they are feeling a bit worn out.

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“Those that will be carrying on next season will benefit as a result though and their bodies will be able to cope better with the demands.”

After tomorrow’s game at Hertford, who were defeated 37-9 in Suffolk earlier in the season, the Green & Ambers go to league leaders Old Elthamians for their final game.

“We would like to go there and be (promotion) party-poopers,” said Robinson.

“But the players are only focusing on Hertford at the moment.

“That will be a tough game in its own right.”

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