Bury St Edmunds prepare for first-ever National League game
- Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2010
The dream becomes reality tomorrow when Bury St Edmunds step onto the pitch at The Haberden as a National League club for the first time tomorrow.
Years of hard work and steady progress have bore fruit and Old Elthamians will play their part in history being made when they provide the opposition in the National 3 (London & SE) clash.
A big crowd is expected for the 3pm kick-off with the feel-good factor from last year’s record-breaking London 1 North championship-winning campaign continuing to gather momentum.
“I have been hoping for this day to come for many years and I thought it would arrive,” said club chairman Mike Robinson. “The catalyst was the arrival of (director of rugby) Terry Sands who brought new energy, expertise and ideas to the club, while a big benefit in the last 18 months has been the recruitment of Gav Hogg as head coach.
“He is one of the best the club has had.”
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Tomorrow’s opponents finished sixth in Bury’s new division last season, following their own promotion from London One South and Robinson is under no illusions as to the tough task ahead.
“It is going to be a big step up and a lot more physical,” added the Green & Ambers’ chairman.
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“Keeping hold of the ball will be critical and while we scored a lot of tries last season, if our forwards don’t win the ball we will struggle.
“We played a warm-up game against Gravesend recently and they had a physical pack and we struggled at the breakdown and in the contact area.
“That is key in this league and those teams that are successful there will be at the top end of the table.”
Admission for tomorrow’s game in £5 for adults and a carnival atmosphere is expected.
“There is a lot of anticipation as to what the new level will be like and it should be a great afternoon,” Robinson added.