Bailey looks to the future as Old Streetonians end season with defeat

Streets boss focused on improvement next season

Old Streetonians head coach David Bailey is already preparing for next season as his side slipped to a defeat at home to Enfield Ignatians on Saturday, bringing their London Two North East campaign to a close.

With the Shoreditch-based side already guaranteed league survival, Bailey’s men were playing without intense pressure, and appeared more relaxed throughout the game and intent on enjoying themselves.

And the Streets coach believed that the 27-10 final scoreline flattered Saturday’s visitors.

“The game didn’t really matter at all as we knew that we had already done enough to stay in the league,” he said.

“We actually played quite well, and I think that the final score didn’t really reflect the nature of the game.

“There were prolonged periods where we dominated the game and I don’t think that Enfield showed why they are third in the league.

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“We matched them and scored two very good tries and should have scored more.

“That scoreline doesn’t do us justice, to be honest.”

Despite playing without the tag of the game being a must-win, Bailey feels his side should have shown more composure when they were in try-scoring positions.

“If we had been more careful in attack then we would have won the game, I believe,” he said.

“However, I think that we were guilty of forcing it sometimes, along with a bit of white-line fever.

“Enfield outscored us four tries to two, but two of their tries came from us needlessly losing possession and then they hit us on the counter attack through their wing, who was the fastest man on the pitch.

“I have to say it was nice for the lads to just go out there and enjoy themselves without the desperate nature of having to win.”

With their season now wrapped up, Bailey revealed the club already have one eye on next season, with preparations set to commence after Old Streets’ end of season tour to Tuscany.

“We are off to Italy over the May Bank Holiday for a few days away, hopefully the weather is nice for us,” he said. “I played out there in the early 80s so I have a few friends whose club’s we will be playing.

“It will be nice for the guys to relax out there after what has been a strenuous season.

“Following that, we will come back, have a little bit of time off and then aim to hit the ground running in June.

“Our main focus in preparation for next season has to be our fitness.

“Too may times this season we have been winning games at half time only to surrender the lead.

“We know that we have the talent in the team to win matches, we now have to make sure we have the fitness to go with that.”

Following another long season, Bailey praised all those that have worked tirelessly behind the scenes in order to keep the club running.

“I must say a big thank you to Richard and Lynn Hay who have dedicated a lot of time and effort to the club,” he said.

“Without people like that the club wouldn’t be able to survive.

“I must also say that the park rangers that maintain our home ground have been fantastic and the pitch has been superb all season.”

Having struggled for two consecutive seasons in London Two North East, Bailey is hoping for a change in fortunes next year, and aims to recruit some new blood before June.

“We are always on the lookout for new talent to come and join the club,” he said.

“However, being based where we are, we have to rely on people that are coming to live and work in the area.

“We may not have the financial power of some of the other clubs in the league, but what we can offer is a high standard of rugby and a fun environment.

“We have already managed to recruit some new players for next season, but we are looking to add a few more.”

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