Despite the title edging further beyond their grasp, Eastbourne Rugby Club first team coach Mal Chumbley wants his men to remember just how far they’ve come this season.
The Blue and Golds’ defeat to league leaders Burgess Hill on Saturday opened up a 12-point gap at the top of the Sussex Spitfire One table which, with just six games left of the season, would require a small miracle to see Eastbourne claim the title.
Although some would be disappointed to see top spot slip out of touching distance, Chumbley insists his men aren’t too downbeat about it.
“There was disappointment at first after Saturday’s result but, after reflection, we reminded ourselves of where we are. “The team were in a low place at the end of last season and after distruption over the summer, we’re competing a little bit further than expected already.
“I pointed out to the lads that we’re still on track to achieving what we set out to achieve, which is widening that player base, stabalising the club and enjoying ourselves, and it’s that which we will look to continue until the end of the season.”
While Eastbourne’s focus remains firmly on winning their remaining six matches, starting with this weekend’s clash with Hayward’s Heath, Chumbley is keen to start rotating players in order to give some second and third team members a chance to shine in the first team squad.
He said, “Some first-team players will have to surrender their shirt but they understand because it’s for the good of the team to widen our player base.
“We’re going to take some of those players that have been performing well in the second and thirds and see if they can continue that at a higher level.”