‘We will compete’ stresses Smith

Hastings & Bexhill (blue and white shirts) will begin their London Three South East campaign with a visit from Horsham tomorrow
Hastings & Bexhill (blue and white shirts) will begin their London Three South East campaign with a visit from Horsham tomorrow

Hastings & Bexhill head coach Kevin Smith is confident that the rugby club’s slow start in pre-season won’t dampen its prospects for the new campaign.

H&B will begin their London Three South East programme at home to Horsham tomorrow (Saturday) having been promoted from Kent One last term, but they’ve struggled so far in friendlies against Eastbourne and Cranbrook.

Smith said: “If we play the way we can play, then we should give a good account of ourselves. We want to win and we’re not going to be anybody’s whipping boys. We need to have the mentality that we can only ever get out of the game what we put in.

“The competition will be a step up, but we need to be focussed for the full 80 minutes for the entire season. Every time we go on a pitch in Hastings colours we expect to win.

“We will give 100%. If our players do their best, then we’re going to have a good season. We have no fear of any side and we will play the whole 80 minutes like it’s our last.”

Last season’s Sussex Shield runners-up have brought in several players, but they’ve also lost some experience at a time where the shape of the side is changing.

“The team is in transition,” continued Smith. “There are younger players that are going to be a regular part of the side. Some of the senior players are going to give us another year and they’ll be invaluable to the club.

“We have lost some experienced players as Kit Claughton is semi-retired and won’t be around until after Christmas. One thing about this side is that I’ve never seen Hastings throw in the towel. These players give everything for the club.”