View from the dugout

Seb Anthony - Director of Rugby Operations

6th April 2024
Vikings vs Wimbledon

Well here it is, the last “ramble” from me for the season, which you will all probably be glad about!

I will start by reminding everyone that at the last home game of the season last year many players and the coaching team bid farewell to the club after collectively getting over 1000 playing caps for the Vikings. The club has not been in this situation for many years and certainly not in the scale that presented itself so this season was very much a case of starting a rebuilding process on both the playing and coaching sides. At this point I would like to say thank you to Niall and the coaching team, along with the phenomenal captaincy and leadership of Dan Smith for keeping the players motivated when the Vikings were losing every week.  It takes some sort of resilience and team sprit for the players to travel every other week to the far corners of the home counties knowing the challenge they are faced with but having a never say die attitude and subsequently turning up in numbers at training the following week.

Equally the Raiders have had a tough season following back-to-back promotions and this week’s match against West Norfolk is basically a season defining moment for this young team. Four points means we will stay in the league so good luck to all those involved. The game will be a “double header” for the Norfolk Cup to give it an extra edge!

I don’t think anyone at the club is surprised that the Vikings ended up in a season long relegation battle, but I can assure you on behalf of the playing, coaching and management side that the focus is now not simply on next season but on the next 3 to 5 years.  We are working on this via various steering groups and I will not go into too much detail, but I’ll keep you all informed as things progress. Collectively we are really excited about what lies ahead as we look to build a new squad of Vikings and Raiders and ensure that the Warriors are competitive following their fantastic promotion winning season.  We have already had the majority of the senior squad confirm that they will be staying around for next season and want to be part of the journey.  Niall and myself are talking to a number of new players and some of the Colts will be staying around. Our relationship with the UEA goes from strength to strength and we are working with Easton College to improve numbers. Whilst the season is coming to a close the work is only just beginning!

Finally, a massive thank-you to you all, Sponsors, Supporters, Volunteers.  Without you, quite simply, we would not be here!

All the best to you all

Seb

Rugby Operations Director

MANY THANKS, To Our Generous Partners and Sponsors

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At North Walsham Rugby Club, our 1st XV (Vikings) are playing at National 2 level. Mini and Youth Rugby caters for Under 6s to U18s. Three Senior Men’s teams. Senior Women’s in affiliation with UEA ladies rugby. Four Girls teams Under12s, 14s, 16s and 18s.

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