We would like to welcome you to the Old Patesians U16 squad for the 2018-19 season.
We have a large, successful and close-knit squad of players who come from a range of different schools within Cheltenham and further afield. Our ethos has always been is to give boys the opportunity to develop as players, be a member of an inclusive squad, play exciting rugby and be successful whatever their level of skill or experience. Above all else we want boys to enjoy playing a great game in a safe and friendly environment that will lead them next year into the Old Pats Colts and then ultimately senior rugby.
Last season we were very pleased to have a strong and sizeable squad. We had a successful and enjoyable season. The players took huge strides forward in skill levels, commitment and their understanding of the game and this resulted in some great wins and performances.
The culmination being the squad winning the County Cup final against an unbeaten Clifton team at Hartpury. This was the squad’s third final in as many years and it was great to win it outright after losing two years ago and then drawing last year. Unfortunately, the GRFU have decided not to stage the county cup this year and it will be sorely missed by many clubs and players who have relished the opportunity to play competitive rugby.
This year we hope to hope to go even further in terms of growing the squad, developing skill levels and winning games albeit without the County Cup. We understand that we have a range of abilities within the squad but that all the boys should be given equal opportunities. While this is not always as straightforward as it seems, we will work hard to make sure all players who show commitment get their share of game time in their chosen positions.
Key to the success of the squad will be doing the basics well and then building upon these. At the start of the season there will be a clear focus on tackling using the correct technique, accuracy of passing and positioning and then developing the skills to play at speed. We will encourage the boys to understand different roles of and play in a number of positions.
Over the next few years the boys’ skill levels, size and strength will change greatly and so we want to ensure they understand all aspects of the game. This year we will be introducing the contested lineout as the final rule change.
One of our main objectives has always been to retain as many players as we can to play in the Old Pats Colts and then senior teams.
This season we will be having several sessions to help the boys familiarize themselves with the Colts set up to ensure a smooth transition at the end of the season. As coaches we are extremely keen, and look forward to, being involved and watching players from our squad play on into adulthood whether that be for the Colts, 1st XV or at whatever level.
The coaching team consists of myself, Andy Park, as head coach, Jeremy Limbrick who is team manager, Andy Kennard and Will Cox.
We are also very lucky to have the support and coaching ability of Connor Thompson who is an established Old Pats first team player. Between us we have a range of rugby experience including one of our coaching team playing representative rugby at a high level.
Two of us have completed our RFU level 2 coaching badges and one has completed an RFU refereeing course.
When and where
On Sundays we will be situated at St Edwards School in Sixways with sessions running between 10.00am and 11.30am. We also run a mid-week training and skills session at the Old Pats club on a Wednesday between 6.00 and 7.00pm.
Our boys come from a wide range of different local schools and we pride ourselves on welcoming new players in to a friendly and supportive squad. If you are interested in being part of the Old Pats U16 squad and would like more information please do not hesitate to contact me or come along either on a Sunday or Wednesday to see how we operate.