Here we are again heading in to another season, one which we hope is s normal as possible. On the eve of the 2022/2023 season we caught up with a few key club individuals who are fair to say looking forward to the next 9 months like expectant parents.
In a revised season last year we played 11 league games that saw us finish in 8th place on 30pts along with Pontypridd and one point less than Merthyr, RGC and Llandovery so effectively we were not that far off a top 4 finish. In a game of fine margins consistency will be the key for the forthcoming season.
First up we had a quick chat with Team Manager Steff Thomas who is almost part of the Quins furniture now he has been in the role so long, but that tells us how good he is at the role. Steff remarked “Pre-Season has been excellent, numbers and quality at sessions has been really good. The new players have really added to the group and there will be a few break through players this year. The coaches have worked really hard to challenge the boys and have created a good environment. I’m excited ro see where this group can go.”
Next up we spoke with new Head Coach Marc Jones who was enthusiastic and upbeat in his assessment of pre-season and looking ahead to the season proper. ” Pre-season has been really good and the boys have worked extremely hard. Particularly as we have introduced new systems and whilst the coaches have mainly remained the same they now have different roles which has meant the squad having to learn and take on board lots of new information. We have seen glimpses of what we are capable of in pre-season and it will be important that we build on this starting Saturday and continue it through the season”.
We asked Marc what are the objectives and challenges that he sees for the upcoming season. With no hesitation the answers were simple “We are targeting a top 4 finish and with that comes the possibility that we are in with a chance of being crowned champions. Our main challenge is instilling in the squad the belief. The belief that they are good enough to compete and win the games. I have seen first hand that the capability is there we just need to continue to build the belief within the squad.”
Finally, even though he has been at the Quins a short time we asked Mark what does it mean to be part of the Quins. “I had spoken to many people about the Quins and the club is spoken highly of so it was quite an easy decision. I wanted to remain in rugby but I needed the right fit and the Quins were it. There is a great culture within the club, the boys work hard but have their downtime. We recently had a bonding night out in Swindon and the boys behaved impeccably and were stuck together like a real unit, this is the culture we want to maintain and build. I am really excited about the future and looking forward to it immensely.”
Our last catch up was with club Chairman Jeff Davies who gave us his thoughts on the coming weeks and months, “Having watched the squad train it is great to see how the younger players have integrated with a settled squad under the guidance of Marc and the other coaches. We all get excited this time of year every year and we approach the new season with optimism, that is what we do as rugby officials, players, coaches and supporters. We wouldn’t follow our teams if we didn’t.”
“Pre-season was a good opportunity to blow away some cobwebs for the squad and they have had three good workouts. It is a shame that Covid is still about and that scuppered our last game.”
We are in our 13th straight year of Premiership Rugby out of 16 years in total. Having had three years in the Premiership between 2004 and 2006 we gained promotion last time back in 2009 to take our place, where we have remained since. No season gets any easier. Challenges change on and off the field and it is how we as a club can adapt to those challenges that will be the marker of success. At the end of the day we are currently running 11 teams from Under 7’s upwards to the First XV and we want them all to be successful from the enjoyment perspective of the mini teams to enjoyment and cup runs for our junior teams. We are continuing to foster the one club ethos across the board and this will be a focus for the club this season.”
“All I want from this season as Chairman is for the boys in the First XV to go out and give their all to the best of their ability and if they do that as they always do then there can be no complaints. It is better to die trying than it is to die wondering.”
“I am looking forward to the coming season and would ask the people of Carmarthen with an interest in rugby to check us out, whether it is the seniors, youth or the younger teams there will always be a warm welcome for you.”
With the season starting this weekend for all our teams lets have a recap of who is playing who this weekend from the club.
1st XV Home to Llandovery in the Park
Youth XV Home to Lampeter in Abergwili
Under 7’s 8’s and 9’s away to Felinfoel
Under 10s away to Porthcawl
Under 12’s home to New Dock Stars in Abergwili
Under 13’s home to Beddau in the Park
Under 14’s home to Haverfordwest in Abergwili
Our Under 15’s and 16’s have a rest week. In particular the 16’s have a number of players at a trial for the Boys Club of Wales and we wish those boys all the very best and hope you are successful.
All at the club are looking forward to the coming season and we look forward to renewing acquaintances.