11:00AM, Thursday 20 April 2017
Maidenhead RFC’s head coach is still insistent that his team will play with a high intensity and ruthless focus in their final match of the season, even though the title is already in their back pockets.
Maids, unlike their footballing neighbours at York Road on the same day, will feel under no external pressure when they face Royal Wootton Bassett at Braywick on Saturday (kick-off 3pm), the only pressure will be that which they place on themselves in the search to round off a memorable campaign.
Russell Bolton is certainly determined there will be no let-up.
“It’s important we maintain our unbeaten home record this season,” he said.
“We want to do this to give something back to the supporters who will turn up on the day, and for all the times they have turned up, and also to build on the fear factor for teams who come here next season.
“It’s important we win.
“Hopefully some players, especially those on the fringes, will want to impress with next season in mind.
“The game’s not a dead rubber, there’s enough to play for.”
Bolton said that midweek training would be like any other week; uncompromising.
He said: “We’ll want to build an intensity in training this week and will work on some areas of fitness.
“Just because we have won the league, that doesn’t mean we can sit back.
“When we are training we always want the tone and message to be about intensity. We like to keep that high.
“We will play a few games and work on our skills, especially our handling.”
The whole squad will not be available for training or for the match as, for some, the rigours of the season have taken their toll.
“We have a few out as they have been run into the ground,” Bolton said. “Will Macaulay broke his hand against Reading Abbey and will miss the game, but I’m sure he’ll be on the sidelines with us, while there is some doubt over Ross Muil who has a groin injury.
“Rorie Hannigan is also away, but this gives us a chance to reward some players who have put a lot of effort into this season with a game.
“But it also means we might try something different, especially in the midfield.”
Asked about the title-winning campaign, Bolton admitted he’s not had time to digest it.
“I’ve not really had time to rest on my laurels to be honest,” he said. “There’s been no let-up. We have been planning player review and advancing some conversations about recruitment.
“It’s exciting times.”
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