Cheddar Valley looking to progress under new captain with a push for promotion

PUBLISHED: 17:30 13 August 2019

Cheddar Valley RFC members face the camera

Cheddar Valley RFC members face the camera

Archant

Cheddar Valley Rugby Club hope to continue their rise after the election of new first-team captain Brett Diver.

The club enjoyed plenty of success under former skipper Tom Corbett, having been relegated from Somerset One in 2015 and faced near collapse.

Under the guidance of new coach Harvey Parsons, new players joined a mixture of veterans and those players remaining as the team consolidated in Somerset Two.

A second team was entered into the league in 2016/17, with both sides maintaining their positions before the first team launched a push for promotion.

New coach Jed Franklin brought a fresh approach and an influx of colts, who had started their rugby careers in the club's junior section, brought a youthful energy to the squad.

A strong start to 2017/18 put the club at the top of Somerset Two by Christmas and, in the face of strong competition, they went on to gain promotion.

The coaching team was bolstered by player/coach Sam Lloyd taking responsibility for the development of the backs but a tough start to 2018/19 saw the team face two of the fancied sides in their first three fixtures, after which they remained pointless.

A first victory brought a run of wins, establishing the side in mid-table and a seventh-place finish was just reward.

Diver has recruited an impressive array of new players to compliment the established squad and brings an ambitious vision to push for a second promotion to the Somerset Premier League.

The growing squad is having a knock-on effect, with the second team also targeting promotion.

The committee is dedicated to developing the infrastructure of the club and chairman Nev Holmes has worked tirelessly to ensure the club maintains its RFU accredited status as well as supporting the local parish council in raising grant funding to develop the council pavilion facilities.

A plan to complete the construction of floodlights to light the whole Sharpham Road pitch will allow the club to host evening fixtures, with Rotamec Engineering entering a second year as the main sponsor.

The wider support of the community is vital in providing the squad with coaching, kit and physiotherapy and the club also runs a thriving mini and junior section and a ladies team.

Nuturing future talent is a longer-term plan to develop home-grown players but new players are always given a warm welcome with opportunities across two teams for the committed and social player. Training is at Sharpham Road on Wednesdays at 7pm.

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