‘Tireless’ Wisbech coach deserves more commitment from players, says club’s manager

Manager Cliff Humphreys insists Wisbech's players owe it to coach Leonard Veenendaal to improve their performances.

The Harecroft Road outfit endured a disappointing start to 2014 as they failed to secure a much-needed home victory against Wanstead. Saturday's 25-8 defeat has left the Fenland club looking nervously over their shoulders towards the London North-East Division Three drop zone, something Humphreys feels is not good enough.

The Wisbech chief said: 'We are at Upminster on Saturday. There is not much I can add to that.

'The senior players wanted the club to provide a full time coach who was committed to training and to watch every game and to work with them to improve the standard of rugby at the club. The club obliged. Leonard Veenendaal is a top coach and the players need to respond to him.'

Sam Anderson's try left Wisbech chasing a five-point deficit going into the second half during their latest defeat at the weekend. But only an Andy Claydon penalty improved their score as they crashed to a miserable defeat on a boggy pitch.

The reds will look to bounce back against an Upminster team they beat at home earlier this term and can leapfrog them in the table up to seventh with victory. Yet Humphreys admits more work needs to be done on the training ground before the club's players can think about progressing.

'Leonard had worked tirelessly in the week prior to the Wanstead game by arranging three training sessions,' said Wisbech's manager.

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'I was very disappointed with the lack of commitment by some of the senior squad players who feel that they do not need to attend training and just turn up to play the game. Rugby is a tactical team game and you need to establish a game plan prior to any game and this can only be done with a full attendance of the squad at training prior to any match.

'In the past two games against Cantabs prior to Christmas and against Wanstead on Saturday we were beaten by sides who clearly worked to their game plan. It is very frustrating as when we did have a full squad training session prior to the match against Sudbury we played as a unit and secured a great victory.'

Wisbech are just two points off the bottom three and look set to be in another scrap to maintain their NE3 status for the second season running.