After a busy summer scouring the local area for quality players, in part to compensate for the departure of some influential senior players, it is now only a week before Broadstreet's new coaching duo, Tom Hoines and Rich Siviter, have to name their starting XV against a newly promoted Syston RFC. With a large number of players turning out for every training session, it appears this task will be harder than ever and the squad of players know they only have this weekend’s final warm up match against Redingensians RFC to stake their claim. So let’s have a look at who is in the running:
Committee man Ben Dawes will take some moving (literally) if any other players are eying up the Loosehead berth, while new signing Pete Mills continues to impress in training and surely only a fool would bet against Matty Dearden making an appearance in his 50th consecutive season for Street. Man-mountain Sam Bates will be keen to be involved now his registration has finally gone through, while dark horse Ian Thatcher continues to roll back the years.
Rumours that Aidy Nightingale fancies a swan song season at Hooker in the First Team are as yet unconfirmed! Which leaves Ciaran Price, Dave Roff and Luke ‘The Claw’ Truslove wrestling for Hooking privileges, however South African Neil Barnard may well ask for permission from his new wife to stake a late claim for the number 2 jersey???
The Second Row will be a familiar place with the old man of the team Tom Greevy, forgotten man Nick Pratt and the safe return of policeman James Rooke after last month’s riots. However, players and supporters alike will be hoping that Street legend Eddie Simkiss will continue to grace the Ivor Preece Field with his own unique ‘style’. Other options for Hoines include Mike Bednell and Will Boyle, both former Street M&Js, whilst loud-mouth Colt Marc Fisher has been told if he gets himself into shape he could also be in the running. New signing Josh Weaver should be a strong contender to move into the engine room considering the congestion of talent in the Back Row and there are a few other possibilities that should be arriving following RWC travels in mid-October.
Again Street will be strong in the Back Row, where ‘Most Improved Player of the Season’ Chris Zutic will be a sure thing to finally get his fake tanned hands on the number 7 jersey. Chris Dodd looks like he’s recovered from a tough week in Ibiza and will be keen to take good pre-season form into the league whilst new signings Matt Buckle and Will Parkes have both been registered in time to stake a claim. The last warm up match will allow supporters to get a look at highly recommended new Number 8 Sam Ismail, and next week will see West Country giant Stu Hendry return from a summer of travelling around Asia. Apparently, Stu has told a source close to the club that this season he is planning to ‘get big’.
Captain Nick Thatcher is looking to fight off competition from disco feet Jordan Simpson who will be able to return to his preferred Scrum Half position. Rumours are rife that older club members are lobbying for the return of veteran Paul Lydster after a 40+ try season in the Badgers last term.
Apart from the no 9 slot, the back line will be almost unrecognisable compared to last season. After twelve months of inconsistency in the Fly Half channel, new signing Scott Harman will be looking to make the position his own, adding some flair to complement the exciting three quarters outside him. However, with the flourish he made at the end of last season, teenage sensation Jack Howland will be looking to shake off injury to continue his 17-points-a-game average (and this season he will even be allowed a beer after the match).
In the Centres Street coaching staff are hoping to confirm the signing of one of the 2008 promotion season squad before kick-off against Syston and announce the signing of a player of the highest quality in the next couple of days. New signing Ross Bayston is looking very sharp in training and Mikey Tyrell has finally filled out an adult registration. Stalwart Andrew Skene has taped up all body parts to ensure his involvement and Gary Challis will be looking to eradicate his revolving door image whilst youngster Sam Vagg will be hoping to build on some promising performances at the end of the previous campaign. Good news for Street fans is that Romey Vassell has committed for another season and the Street Faithful will be hoping to see him involved a lot more.
Saving the best till last Hoines and Sivvy face the daunting prospect of picking a back three from a bevy of talented Wings and Full Backs. Ever-present Danny Phillips has not withdrawn his strong claim and Mark Britain has graduated from the Colts with a raft of tries under his belt. Wing Pete Bicknell returns to the club after a three year absence and is one of the stand-out performers in pre-season training and games. New signings Dom Ainsworth, Jon Duncan and Ian Renard will need to perform in this week’s final warm up match if they are going to start the first league game, whilst house wives favourite (and Keith Lemon lookalike) Mark Marren has finally made his long awaited return to the club. Impressive try scoring Coventry Bear Ash Johnson is also looking dangerous in training however along with a number of other potential signings from the Bears any commitment will follow completion the Rugby League season. On a final note, whispers that Andy Tee will return from retirement for the fourth time are unfounded, although he was spotted in the local JJB sports eyeing up a range of knee supports.
With all of the above information in mind, why don't you have a go at the Broadstreet Fantasy draft. Details will be made available shortly, but it's only £10 to enter and provides you with the opportunity to prove you're management material. For more information email Luke Truslove at