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New head coach Smith aims to help move Hendon up the table in first term at helm

PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 August 2018

Hendon head off the pitch after beating Hatfield in a pre-season friendly (pic: Hendon RFC)

Hendon head off the pitch after beating Hatfield in a pre-season friendly (pic: Hendon RFC)

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In an article from our ‘Engage’ supplement, Hendon head coach Phil Smith previews the Herts/Middlesex One season

New Hendon head coach Phil Smith hopes to guide the team up the Herts/Middlesex One table in his first season in charge, writes Ned Keating.

Smith took over in the summer at the Greenlands Lane club, who finished in ninth place last season.

And he hopes to see an improvement this term as he looks to get Hendon in a position to challenge for promotion in the coming years.

“We were in the bottom third of the table last year, so we’re aiming for a mid-table finish at the very minimum this year,” he said.

“As a coach with experience of working in the National Leagues, I know it can be dangerous to state that promotion is the aim because all it takes is one or two injuries to really hurt you and you don’t achieve it.

“We want the players to enjoy their rugby this season, but also to be competitive in every game they play.

“The aim at the start is a mid-table finish, but we’ll see where we are at Christmas and reassess if needed.

With Smith gearing up for his first season as head coach of Hendon, the excitement is sure to be building for him on a personal level.

Around the club too, there has been plenty of hard work to help the Greelands Lane club progress both on and off the pitch this season.

And Smith says he is really impressed with the atmosphere around the club ahead of the start of the new campaign.

“We’ve seen an increase in sponsorship this term, including JAMM Recruitment sponsoring our new scrum machine,” he added.

“We’ve got new changing rooms as well, the first time in 15 years that they’ve been done up, which will be a boost too. With plenty of Irish players at the club, it makes for a good atmosphere and there’s a good feel around the club at the moment.”

Smith has also been pleased with pre-season too, believing there has been a strong level of commitment through the summer from the squad.

“We’ve regularly had 25 players at training all demonstrating a good level of ability,” said Smith.

“We do have some new players, but it’s been great that so many of the squad from last season are still involved and in Cian Hynes, I believe we have a captain who on the pitch will do well for us.”

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