NEW Coventry Bears director of rugby Alan Robinson has vowed to bring improvements on the pitch as the new Betfred League One season draws closer.
After a hectic campaign in 2019 which forced the club to find temporary residence at Broadstreet RFC’s Ivor Preece Field and Rugby Lions RFC’s Webb Ellis Road during the renovation works at Butts Park Arena, the future is now looking bright again following a busy off-season.
With former head coach Tom Tsang departing for Championship outfit London Broncos in October, a reshuffling of the pack has pitted former chief executive Robinson in the first team hotseat, where he will be assisted by coaches Mark Sloan and Richard Squires.
Bears fans will be afforded a first glimpse of their side when Tsang’s Broncos visit Coventry on Friday evening (7.30pm).
And with a greater focus on strength and fitness during pre-season training so far, Robinson is confident of delivering results and thanked the former head coach for his time at the club.
“We wish Tom well, he was a great servant of the club and this is a great career move for him,” said the new Bears chief.
“Now we have totally reorganised off the pitch, we are looking to press on again after a difficult and disappointing season last year.”
Coventry finished in ninth last term with just four wins to their name – a position that is looking to be surpassed in the 2020 season with the help of a number of off-field changes.
“Thanks to an agreement with Warwick School, we now have training facilities equal to any club in rugby league,” Robinson explained.
“Together with the new pitch at Butts Park Arena, it has enabled us to attract exciting new talent such as Chris Cullimore, Will Budd and Brad Clavering, as well as retaining the likes of Reece Williams and Hayden Freeman.
“The Bears have endeared themselves to their own fans and those of other clubs with a creative playing style, but all too often we lost games because of handling errors or by simply not being able to put in a full 80-minute shift.
“The training emphasis has now been on strength and conditioning, building from the back and we can see us being more competitive this year.”
Coventry’s season is set to get under way on Wednesday, February 9 with a Challenge Cup third round game, before starting their league campaign a week later at home to Rochdale Hornets.