Woodford coach Redfern focuses on little things for growth

PUBLISHED: 10:30 06 September 2019

Woodford head coach Tom Redfern (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Woodford head coach Tom Redfern (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Woodford head coach Tom Redfern is very clear about his targets ahead of a new challenge in London One North.

Woodford celebrate their promotion Romford & Gidea Park RFC vs Woodford RFC, London 2 North East Division Rugby Union at Crowlands on 9th March 2019Woodford celebrate their promotion Romford & Gidea Park RFC vs Woodford RFC, London 2 North East Division Rugby Union at Crowlands on 9th March 2019

This time last year, his aim was a positive win-loss record, after the Highams club avoided the drop in 2017/18 thanks to five wins in their last six matches.

Woodford went and won 19 of 22 fixtures to take the London Two North East title ahead of Romford & Gidea Park but Redfern's aims are more general now.

"We've been building really nicely. We've got nice people involved and that it what our focus is. Good people at the heart of the club," he said.

"It's been an exciting two years, but that has been and gone. Now we want to create the next exciting chapter in the history of the club and those playing experiences.

"Outcome is important but the stuff we do to achieve is more important. Our focus is on the little things, cultural and developmental growth. We've got coaches and medical staff on board who are all buying into it. Socially we're more connected than in previous years."

Match days remain very important, of course, but it feels more like the whole club experience is the key factor.

"If we don't look after players, nurture them and help them get better, we won't have a sustainable future," he added.

"It's about giving players a fair crack. We had two lads last year make their debuts at 17 years old. It's also a chance for older players to develop and be part of what we do.

"Our second-team captain joined when he was 16 and is now 35. It's giving people opportunity, whatever stage. We're not perfect but it's a standpoint of how we want to behave, internally and externally, and what we want.

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"It's getting people involved to get better. It won't happen if all things are not right."

Woodford begin the season with a home match against North Walsham on Saturday and visit local rivals Eton Manor next month.

And Redfern is sure they will enjoy those battles again, adding: "We will focus on ourselves and there is extra spice in having some local derbies. It's been seven or eight years since we've been at this level and I'm sure we'll enjoy those matches.

"We did really well last season, but we don't know how high our ceiling is. We play North Walsham first, how high is their ceiling?

"There will be tough games, we're not stupid or naive. We've got some good new lads to give us something different and strength across the board.

"We've got our feet on the ground. There's no point thinking about it until we've done all the other bits.

"If we get a good start, confidence grows and you get a bit of momentum. Sport can be funny in that sense."

But as for clear, defined targets on what he would like Woodford to achieve this season, Redfern is very matter of fact.

"If you ask the 18 players on the first day of the season do they want to win, they'll say yes, we want to win every game," he said.

"Monday to Friday, nine to five, they've got high stress at work with targets, why have the same environment?

"It's about enjoying what you're doing and performing to get where we want to get to."

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