Young club reporter, Alex Kinsella-Evans recently caught up with Ebbw Vale co-captain Joe Franchi, to discuss how the pre-season has gone and the ambitions for the upcoming season.
Joe believes pre-season training has been productive, as most of the squad have been retained from last season. As a result, the squad have been a few weeks ahead of where they would normally have been as they already understand the structure in attack and defence. Skills and Conditioning coach Nicky Strange has been working all the boys really hard too, so the squad`s fitness is looking really good across the park.
Discussing the new additions, Joe stated they had fitted in well. The squad held a social gathering after the Clifton game, which was a good way for the new boys to come out of their shell.
Joe added Jason expects the team to play on a Saturday in the same way that they have practiced through the week. He demands high standards of all the boys on and off the pitch, which is a necessity at this level if we want to be successful.
Reviewing the two pre-season friendlies played, Joe believed they were two good hit outs. The Newbridge game was tough with having to adjust to the new tackle height law and playing in terrible weather conditions. Clifton was a good test, and it was pleasing to see the set piece was dominant in both games which gives them a lot of confidence going into the new season.
When looking at areas of improvement, Joe added the team always look to improve all facets of their game. They do not want to become complacent in anything. A big emphasis has been put into the driving maul this year, which they intend to use as a real weapon this season.
Finally, Joe informed everyone at the club is ambitious and wants to be competing for silverware every year and this year is no different, the squad want to win trophies.
Written by: Alexandria Kinsella-Evans