Monday, July 22, 2024
HomeRUGBYThe Interview: Adam Bowman

The Interview: Adam Bowman

Sevenoaks Sport & Wellbeing sent their Editor, Steve Rowley, to talk to Sevenoaks Rugby’s Head Coach and Director of Rugby to discuss what might be heading the club’s way this season.

Have you had time to reflect on the past season and have there been any changes at the club since then?
Adam Bowman:
I am the type of person who struggles to enjoy the moment but the squads, the staff and everyone involved did such a superb job. With the first and second teams winning their respective leagues and the second team winning the cup, it was a pretty special year all round. We should be especially proud of what we’ve all achieved but you have to quickly turn your attention to the new season and the challenges ahead. There have been a lot of positive changes at the club over the summer as we prepare for our new life in the National 2 league, which we are all very excited for.

The changes I mentioned over the summer were voted on by club members, including the option of paying players, which a large majority were in favour of as long as it is sustainable and that the revenue to be used was new and additional revenue coming into the club. As a result, we are now in a position to provide a benefits package to our players. If we want to be a sustainable and competitive level 4 National 2 rugby club then you’ve got to have the right model, and I believe that this is the right model to enable future growth and success at the club.

In the clubhouse, we’ve made some commercial changes, starting with me taking on the role of Commercial Director, looking at all revenue streams across the club with a view to improve and generate more revenue for the club to improve the member experience across the whole club. From under 5’s girls and boys through to our senior performance team, our social team, our new mixed touch rugby adult offering that we’re introducing this year, as well as our new adult women’s offering as well.

Diane has stepped away from Clubhouse management responsibilities and will now focus on catering and making the wonderful food that she makes for supporters and members. Donna [Swallow] has taken over the Clubhouse manager role fulltime, we work together very closely on the clubhouse operations. Donna has done a superb job on refreshing and building on the great job that was done before for our members. You will see new things in the bar, a new outside bar, we’re just looking to professionalise the offering for our members and supporters.

Are you satisfied with what you have seen from the group so far?
AB:
In terms of the squad itself, Patrick [Pellegrini] has left the club and joined fulltime at Coventry in the Championship. We have a few new faces coming in which will be revealed in due course, but the large majority of the group is the same. They’re an intelligent group and they learn quickly, they’re very talented rugby players and we’re confident that with the coaching structure , the attitude of the group of players, that we can surprise a few people this year. There will be some tough days in the office and we’ll have to learn pretty quickly but we’re up for that challenge.

Do you have a target for yourself or the club before the season starts?
AB:
I think our objective this season, with the league restructure, our 2nd XI coming into the RFU pyramid, and our 3rd XI in the Kent Invicta, the objective as a squad, and it is a squad, these players will move up and down between teams, is to be competing near the top of the league for our 2nd team, and for the first team is about establishing ourselves at that level.

Where do you see your toughest competition coming from this season?
AB:
Obviously Blackheath have just come down from National 1 and I would expect them to go straight back up, but there are a lot of very good teams in this league. On our doorstep you’ve got Tonbridge Juddians, Canterbury and Rochford Hundred. If you are a couple of percent off your game against anyone in this league you’re going to struggle. So we need to focus ourselves, make sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities and do their job to the best of their abilities.

Talking of Tonbridge Juddians, Adam added: A few years ago it seemed a long way off that we would be playing each other, but they’ve also come down from National 1. We’ve always had some great games against Tonbridge at academy and junior level, and it’s great to be playing them now at senior level.

What position would you be happy with come April?
AB:
We want to win as many games as possible, we don’t like losing, none of us like losing. We go onto the pitch as a group to win and that’s no different this year. I want to win as many games as possible, that’s what we’re looking to do, but our objective as a group is to establish ourselves.

And finally, do you have a few words about your supporters?
AB:
We’re really looking forward to our first home game at the Paddock, we have over 100 people booked in for lunch on that day. The success we’ve had over the years, we couldn’t have done without our supporters. They’ve been with us on this journey, giving huge amounts of support to the whole squad whether we’ve had good runs or not so good runs, so we are hugely appreciative of their support and we look forward to seeing them on the side-lines again this year.

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