Chairman speaks of Hadleigh's struggle
NEWLY-APPOINTED Hadleigh chairman John Halls has spoken for the first time about the club's struggle following the departure of eight key players, writes Dave Carey.The crisis has come about following the departure of Hadleigh's director of rugby, Terry Sands.
NEWLY-APPOINTED Hadleigh chairman John Halls has spoken for the first time about the club's struggle following the departure of eight key players.
The crisis has come about following the departure of Hadleigh's director of rugby, Terry Sands.
Sands, whose resignation from the club was first reported in the Evening Star last year, left to concentrate his attentions on his role of team manager of the England Sevens squad, but has since been linked with Bury St Edmunds.
At the beginning of this season, Hadleigh received transfer requests for eight of their players, including influential club captain Craig Burrows. The requests came from Bury RUFC.
Halls said: “Despite hearsay surrounding the transfers, there is no bad feeling between our club and Terry, or the players concerned. Terry gave a lot to the club over his 20 or so years here, and it's understandable that some of the players should feel a loyalty to him.
“There was an issue with two of the players owing money to the club, and their transfers were held back until that issue was resolved.”
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The transfers, along with retirements, have meant that the club has lost around 20 players this season, and this has had a devastating effect.
The club also has a long-standing relationship with RAF Wattisham, and the Garrison at Colchester, both of which have supplied quality players over the years, but military commitments overseas mean that many of these players are currently absent from the squad.
Halls said: “This is definitely a challenging time for Hadleigh, but there has been huge passion and commitment shown by the remaining players.
“We are in the tough process of rebuilding the club, and envisage it taking us a good two or three seasons to get back to where we were last year, but hopefully we should be able to field two full squads in the near future.”
Hadleigh are actively recruiting, and welcome both new and old players to their training sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm.
For more information visit www.hadleighrufc.com
What do you think about Hadleigh losing so many players? Write to Sports Desk, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To read the whole of Dave Carey's new rugby column get tonight's Evening Star.