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Diss Rugby Club head coach reflects on challenging London 2 North East campaign

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As the curtain came down on their 2021/22 season last weekend, Diss Rugby Club head coach Nick Greenhall was left to mull over what could have been.

It was a stylish end to the campaign for the Blues, who in front of a home Mackenders crowd ran out 31-26 winners at the expense of Chelmsford.

But afternoons like that had become far too rare for Greenhall’s liking, with his Diss side coming out on top in just eight of their 22 fixtures as they finished third from bottom in the London 2 North East standings.

Team selection has been a tough task for Nick Greenhall this season. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Team selection has been a tough task for Nick Greenhall this season. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Much of the problem centred around a lack of availability, which on a couple of occasions forced Diss to forfeit matches.

And yet when Greenhall had good numbers at his disposal he watched on as victories were secured against the likes of sixth-placed Wymondham, as well as Saturday’s visitors Chelmsford (4th).

Reflecting on the last few months, Greenhall said: “There was some pluses but there has been a lot of challenges. The biggest one was player availability which came about because of injuries, Covid and other commitments.

“That has had a big impact on results, performances and, at times, the morale as well.

“It does leave you feeling what might have been because when we did have decent numbers and had the majority of our top players available we beat some good sides.

“It has been a bit of a learning curve for everyone. Until you get the season going you never truly know which players are going to be committed.

“On a personal level I learned a lot about the passion and commitment of the players.”

While the senior side now takes a break, Greenhall already has some ideas about what changes he is keen to implement next term.

And he is particularly keen to utilise the club’s thriving youth set-up.

“We’ve got a great group of youngsters that we think will be ready to make the transition,” he added.

“A couple got some game time this season and when you look at the numbers there could be 10 or 11 that make the step up.

“We’ll have a little bit of a break now, get some weight training done, maybe a little bit of rugby league early in the summer and we’ll see where it goes from there.

“Hopefully with the youngsters stepping up and others being committed, we’ll get a team out on the pitch that is capable of winning away as well as at home.”

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