Maroons manager Roberts relishing fresh challenge

The Maroons in action on their way to promotion last season
The Maroons in action on their way to promotion last season

Whitby RUFC manager Ollie Roberts claims his side will be in for a tough challenge, after sealing promotion to Durham/Northumberland Division One.

With a friendly fixture against York RI, in memory of Tony Ralph, which is all set to be an annual event in memory of the former postman, and training all going according to plan, Roberts claimed they’re in good shape ahead of the season opener, which sees Whitby face fellow promoted side Acklam on September 1.

Roberts said: “Training has been challenging.

“I’m confident that the squad can adjust, but it is a new challenge for virtually all the squad.”

The squad from last season has been entrusted with the responsibility for the upcoming campaign, with no new additions coming in the off season.

They did however lose Luke Brown to Scarborough, among other departures, but Roberts maintains that the impetus is on the squad rather than individual players.

“Our aim is to keep the squad together because the squad we have is already small, so keeping everybody here is crucial,” Roberts added.

“Being in Whitby it is difficult to get players here so its hard to add even if we wanted to, but keeping that small squad is good if players stay fit.

“This is going to be a big challenge so we need everyone, if we can stay in the division this season and then look to consolidate and build season on season, much like we did going from Division Two to Division One.

“But this first season is massive, if we stay up then anything can happen from there.”

After the opening clash of the new campaign against Acklam, Whitby then face a trip to Durham City before returning to home soil to face Gateshead.