We’re back! Although it feels like we never left with preseason starting back in June, the league campaign is now upon us.
This season sees a major change to National League Two. Following a lengthy review process into the structure of the game in England, player welfare and competition a range of changes have been made this season. The main impact for Old Albanians is that National League Two has been split into three regions with 14 teams in each. Old Albanians has been placed into National League 2 East and will face; Barnes, Blackheath, Bury St Edmunds, Canterbury, Dorking, Guernsey, Henley, North Walsham, Rochford, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge Juddians, Westcliff, Worthing.
The coaching and management team has also had a shake up during the off season. The team for 2022/23 is as follows:
Director of Rugby James Osborn
Head Coach Dan George
Attack Coach Gareth Hatherley-Hurford
Skills Coach Greg Lound
Defence Coach Mike Smith
Assistant Forwards Coach / Joint Romans Head Coach Justin Coleman
Joint Romans Head Coach Eddie Panting
1st XV Managers Paul Adams & Simon Atkinson
Head of Medical Jordan Harris
Lead Physiotherapist Lucy Day
S&C Coach Anish Patel
Sports Therapist Zoe Burrows-Smith
Sports Therapist Intern Megan De-Fransz
We’ve also been busy with player recruitment and retention and although a small number of players have retired or moved on, we’re delighted that the majority of the squad has re-signed. We also welcome a number of new faces to the squad who will add a mixture of depth, quality and experience.
We’re thrilled to announce that Ashley Illston has been made 1st XV Captain, with Elliot McPhun as Vice Captain. The full squad list is below:
Ashley Illston (C)
Elliot McPhun (VC)
Sean Aherne Smith
Re-signed players / New Players
We open our campaign with the longest away trip of the season, Guernsey, before welcoming Henley to Woollams. We look forward to seeing you all soon!
Director of Rugby