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Eton Manor know where big improvement is required for new campaign, says Connors

PUBLISHED: 17:30 07 September 2019

Eton Manor's Garth Tucker brings the ball forward against Amersham & Chiltern during the 2018/19 season (pic: Martin Pearl).

Eton Manor's Garth Tucker brings the ball forward against Amersham & Chiltern during the 2018/19 season (pic: Martin Pearl).

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Jamie Connors is confident Eton Manor will get back to being one of the best teams in the London One North this season, writes George Sessions.

The 2018/19 campaign proved to be tough for the New Wilderness outfit and they ultimately came home in ninth position.

Given Connors' squad have generally been in the top-five, and also had one season at National League level, it was extremely disappointing for the Wanstead-based club.

However, Manor's head coach is confident they will improve on a tally of 10 wins from 26 fixtures after adjusting to life on their new artificial surface.

"We were disappointed and we recognised and have come up with some things we need to work on," Connors said.

"Fitness is the main one. We felt with the new pitch and a need to play a fast game on the artificial surface that we needed to improve our fitness.

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"We have worked really hard on that in the off-season and also identified positions where we were a little weak for London One North standard and where we lacked depth.

"I think we have five or six good new signings to supplement the strong squad we already had, so they were the two main areas where we wanted to work on.

"What didn't help us was the bad injuries we got to key players which made us fall away at the end of the season, but that is no excuse and fitness was a big thing to improve and then some key players in key positions and we have managed to do both."

There will be no more Rochford Hundred in the division after they won the title following 26 straight wins in the London One North.

Brentwood and Chingford have dropped down from the National League, though, and so Connors, who will be supported by director of rugby Mark Farrell, expects a competitive league.

He added: "After last year we want to be winning as many games as we can and we feel we have a squad good enough to be in the top three or four.

"It is hard to know what the others will be like. Chingford and Brentwood have come down again, but how many players will they have lost this summer? It will be interesting to see how they both are.

"Rochford going up is good! Colchester will be strong and HAC, so it will be a tough league, but we feel we are in a good position at the moment to push for a top-three or top-four finish."

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