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Promotion: A result of development from the bottom up?

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At the beginning of the month the RFU confirmed that St. Austell RFC would be promoted from the Tribute Western Counties West Division. We caught up with club captain Miles Davey on what this means for one of Cornwall’s biggest clubs.

How have you been keeping yourself busy and fit since the season was cancelled?

It’s a difficult time, but we adapt and move on. House renovations and moving school work to online learning has certainly kept me busy. As well as quizzes using Zoom, [I’ve got a] better social life than out of lockdown.

How would you asses the season as a whole?

[It was] A fantastic season, a season where we have grown and grown as a squad. Using 35 players across 22 fixtures shows great testament to our strength and depth within our club. And the great work happening at training and also the development with the sinners.

What progress did you feel the team made from previous years?

Over the last few seasons, we have always had the potential to have a season like this one. But I feel the real difference this season is a combination of a few factors. 1. Our graduating colts have brought real energy to the squad, Cam Taylor, Max Bullen and Harry Pyatt. 2. Our younger members stepping up and becoming leaders on the field, the likes of Andy Inch and Mark Vian. 3. The great work of all coaches to developed every single player at the club from colts, sinners and saints. Including the work from James Taylor, Jenny Tyrell and Kev Jones to consisting put out a Sinners team but also be very competitive. And we have seen development to our strength and depth within the club.

What did you do differently this season to last?

We had the ability to find a way to win games, from fast flowing rugby on a hot sunny day, to going to the likes of Penryn in horrendous conditions and grind out a win. Therefore, our ability to adapt really shone through as a big difference.

How did you feel when the season was halted and you were top?

Gutted to be fair. We felt, after beating Wellington, Wadebridge, Chard and then Bideford, that we were in a great position going into the last 4 league games plus a county cup final. We believe we were coming into our best form to finish the season on a high. To have the chance to do a league and cup double don’t come around very often. But, we also know there is a much bigger picture and everybody’s health must come first.

Now the decision has been made and you’ve been promoted, how do you feel?

Before the decision was made, there were lots of different scenarios, from null and void to average points. Honestly though once they announced that a formula would be used, I thought we would be promoted in 1st place. Therefore, when it was announced that we’d been promoted but finished 2nd I felt a little deflated. However, in the same sentence I am absolutely ecstatic to gain promotion and that Wellington more than deserved to be promoted as well. All in all, we are extremely happy with promotion with the young squad we have.

What were this season’s goals?

Kyle, Chris, Sam and I, as a team of coaches, don’t like the term ‘Season Goals’. We look at blocks of games and go game by game. This below us as coaches keep the squad focussed with the opponents in front of us and not looking too far ahead of ourselves. Like the old saying goes you are only as good as your last game.

Have you started planning for next season already and what does this look like?

Things are starting to roll out behind the scenes for next season between the committee and coaching teams. However, as the playing squad goes we are still in celebration mood for what has been a great season. Firstly, with the Brave the Shave in support for our local NHS. And on the 9th May, we will be holding our annual Senior Awards Evening via Zoom Video Meetings.

What makes us such a great club is, that we are always looking at ways to develop and engage more with players, supporters and the wider community. To be the best we can be, and leave the club in a better place than we found it. Which is the theme we are passing onto the next generation of players, supporters and committee members. I’m proud to be part of the Saints Family.

Some quick fire questions….

Joker in the team? Cam Taylor, always joking around in the changers.

Worst dresser? Adam Kellow’s training attire, imagine Hawaiian swim shorts and a lumberjacks jacket, horrendous.

Who would you not want to get stuck in a lift with? Ben Plummer, absolute toilet chat.

Worst Dancer? Pete Rowe, imagine a pig truffling for treats.

Is there anyone you’d like to say thank you too?

The Committee – They have done absolute wonders with the clubs finances and put us in an unbelievable position especially in these testing times. They have supported everything the coaching and playing squads have requested.

DOR’S – David Clark and Steve Murley, massive thank you to these two who have supported us.

Supporters – These guys make the hard work on the field feel even better when you hear them shouting in the standouts at Tregorrick, Wellington finish to the game was huge. And there commitment to support us no matter the travel and more often than not we outnumbered the home supporters, so thank you.

Family – To wives, children and parents thank you for your continued support and put up with the constant whinges of pain on a Sunday. And no Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for us older ones haha.

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