LYDNEY’S new team manager Dave Emery says his young side will have a healthy competition for places next season after some early summer recruitment.
Emery rejoined the Severnsiders from Bream last season to take over control of the club’s United XV, pulling them back from the brink of folding and helping them march to second in the Gloucester & District One Reserve League.
He then took over the team manager role this summer and has brought in three new players with the help of captain and player/coach Sam Arnott.
Prop James Francis joins from Chepstow, while former Old Centralians fly-half has also agreed a move to Regentsholme.
Former Gloucester academy and Cinderford wing Reuben Haile is the highest profile signing of the three, and bolsters Lydney’s options at three-quarters.
Emery is hoping the three can bolster the South West Premier side’s chances after an unexpected relegation battle last season but says his side will take the campaign ’month by month’.
“Having run the seconds last year I’ve worked quite closely with Paul Price, Sam and Chris Holder,” Emery said.
“The opportunity came up and I thought I would give it a go.
“Obviously last season was disappointing as a whole for the club. We had a good run of results late in the season to keep us up but we need that throughout.
“It’s a difficult league and we’ve got a tricky start to the season.
“But we’ve recruited a few new players and hopefully the seconds will step up as well.
“James Francis is a good ball carrier and at 23 is one of the older front row players with the likes of Costner Lane who’s only 19. Hopefully that little bit of extra experience will help.
“Ollie Locke was ready to move on after Old Cents failed to get promoted and wanted to try the next level. He’s an outside-half which is crucial because last season we didn’t have a dedicated player there.
“Reuben Haile is someone we’ve read a lot about over the year and he’s a winger who’s proven he can score tries at this level.
“He’s a good signing for the club and strengthens us in the backline. With him, Josh Hannam and Tai Lakabuka we’ve got three strong wingers who can do some damage.”
Lydney also welcome back Josh Innes after 18 months out with injury.