Blue and Golds style attracting bumper crowds

Tom Redman
Tom Redman
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Eastbourne Rugby Club Chairman Fraser Brooks couldn’t hide his excitement as the club get their National Cup campaign under-way tomorrow (Saturday).

The Blue and Golds travel to Kent outfit Sittingbourne, who play in the equivalent to Sussex’s Spitfire Division One, in Kent.

They are something of an unknown quantity, but the chairman can’t wait for the match and revealed that he expects the side to be joined by a bumper crowd in Kent.

“We’re massively excited. They play a very similar standard to us and it’s a really big day for the club.

We have a coach coming and we’re expecting a lot of supporters. Hopefully about 100,” he said.

Eastbourne are in red-hot form, having won their last four games in a row, and the team is starting to take shape under boss Mal Chumbley.

Chumbley is now in his second full season with the club and the players are really starting to gel and buy into the boss’s philosophy.

“The one thing that’s noticeable this season is the amount of competition for places. We’ve developed a very simple, but very effective, quick style of rugby and the players are really buying into what the coach is doing,” Brooks added.

And they will have to tap into the squad for Saturday’s trip.

Centre Steve Clark is still ruled out through injury and Martin King and Dick Barron are also unavailable.

But whoever is drafted in will come into a side high on confidence.

Try’s have been free flowing of late and last weekend saw them rack up 52 points at Crowborough, although , a lot of their success is built on solid foundations.

In their last three outings they have conceded just one try and they have recorded convincing wins over Lewes Rye and Seaford.

And their style of play has seen fans flock to Park Avenue in recent weeks.

A crowd of more than 400 turned out for the recent derby match with Seaford and speaking ahead of Saturday’s fixture, Captain Tom Redman revealed the players delight at the levels of 
support.

He was, however, keen to remain focused on how the team are playing,

“We have to realise that we haven’t had the hardest of starts. A lot of the bigger teams are still to come”, he said

“We’ve had some really good crowds and they’re enjoying the style of rugby that they’re seeing,”

When asked if the crowd had spurred the lads on he added,

“You don’t notice it so much when you’re playing. It’s when it quiets down on the pitch and you’re going in for a scrum or after you’ve scored that try, when you really do realise that you’re not just playing for yourself but for the crowd as well.”