Cuyrry keen for Walsham shake-up

CHRIS LAKEY North Walsham rugby union coach Jon Curry is looking for new faces on and off the field as he bids to put the disappointments of last season behind him.


North Walsham coach Jon Curry is looking for new faces on and off the field as he bids to put the disappointments of last season behind him.

The Vikings finished seventh in the 14-team National League Division Three South - and Curry admits it's a case of a fresh start when the new campaign gets underway in the autumn.

He has lost his legendary front row of Stuart Loose, Gideon Rossouw and Tim Groom - who had clocked up 599 games between them - as well as Faleono Seve, who has joined Launceston on a semi-pro contract, and Sam Harrington, who is in Australia.

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But the nucleus of last year's squad is there - and now Curry is looking to add to his numbers.

“We are still very much on the lookout for players with ambition, new players to the north Norfolk area. We have to get the players young - and there is a problem in Norfolk with ambitious young players. They get a certain amount of pressure put on them by their local clubs, but it is a hell of commitment to do what we do. It might be a bit harsh to say they are not ambitious, I just think people get quite happy with their lot and perhaps scared to try at the highest level or see how good they can get.

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“We have the nucleus of last year, obviously it is a big loss the front row going, but we have Leon Davies and Iain Beck back, who we didn't have last season, which is a great plus, but we are still very much on the lookout for any players with ambition, or any new players in the north Norfolk area - anybody who wants to play at the highest standard.

“It is not just talent, it is coaches as well. I want anybody who has moved into the area, anybody who is interested in managing a team, anybody interested in playing rugby or coaching. We have one or two senior coaching appointments available at the moment with our second team squad because internally we have moved some coaches around.

“The way we stay where we are is because we work very hard on coach development, so we have the best coaching set-up. Obviously we are also still on the hunt for sponsorship - it's just a never-ending search.”

Walsham's fight for honours won't be helped by the massive financial clout of some of their rivals.

“There are a lot of money clubs coming into the league - probably six sides will be spending £200,000 plus this year,” said Curry. “Worthing's second team bill is actually more than my first team bill is going to be.”

Numbers aren't an issue for Curry.

“We can get a couple of teams out - we just need more players to go into the pot because it is a long old season,” he said.

“It will be a new side. It is going to be tough again and we need all the help we can get.

“Last season was a disappointment, but unfortunately it was a season waiting to happen after the season before when we did so well but just missed. We then got into a situation where we had so many injuries - 15 different halfback combinations, lots of different sevens, and what we are looking to do this year is get the off-the-field care even better and play with a level of ambition that is not seen in our league, a level of intelligence.

“We have some great young backs. It is exciting times and we are really going to push, but we need more players, first team and second team. The second team is by some way the second best team in Norfolk as well - that is an unfortunate state of Norfolk rugby.”

Training at Scottow has already started and the early signs are good.

“They look very good - good quality players and they looked in reasonable nick,” said Curry.

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