Pugh admits Wanstead were victims of second-season syndrome

PUBLISHED: 10:00 18 April 2019

Wanstead celebrate a try earlier in the season (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Wanstead celebrate a try earlier in the season (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Wanstead head coach Bill Pugh looks back on their London Two North East campaign

Bill Pugh admits Wanstead knew they were going to find their second season in London Two North East a lot tougher than their first campaign.

The Herons finished the most recent term in sixth place with 63 points after collecting 12 wins from their 22 league matches.

In the previous campaign, their first at London Two level, the Roding Lane North club came fourth with 75 points after amassing 15 victories that term.

Wanstead will have been disappointed to have gone backwards, rather than forwards, in the last campaign.

But head coach Pugh, who took over midway through the campaign after David Wiggins stood down, feels there were some mitigating factors at play.

“The second season is always more difficult because you don't have that buzz having just won promotion and you're no longer an unknown quantity in the division,” he said.

“We haven't got the biggest of squads, so it decimates us when injuries hit like they did this season.

“I'm not too upset with how the season went, but it would be marked 'could do better' if it was a school report.”

Pugh took charge of Wanstead in February with the remit of laying the foundations to be successful next season.

The head coach was able to use the final weeks of the campaign to start instilling his beliefs in the Herons squad as they look to challenge near the top next term.

Next season will be Pugh's first full campaign in charge of the Roding Lane North club and he hopes he can oversee some success on the pitch.

“We've had some great news off the pitch with the redevelopment plans recently, so we want to keep progressing on the pitch too,” he added.

“The committee are happy with what we're doing on the pitch, but we know ourselves that we could have done better last season.

“There were some poor displays, particularly away from home, that we know we need to improve on if we are to challenge for a place in the top four next season.”

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