Familiar opposition could help Kettering’s new faces at the start

Kettering director of rugby Doug Bridgeman
Kettering director of rugby Doug Bridgeman

Kettering mark the start of the new rugby season by entertaining Matlock tomorrow.

The Blues had a difficult time in their last campaign and only secured safety from relegation in the final few weeks.

Their young squad spent much of the time learning about the game the hard way - and there could be more of the same this term.

A big turnover in players - with the younger members heading off to university or finding new jobs - means there will be new personnel on show at Waverley Road.

But, despite some enforced changes, director of rugby Doug Bridgeman is not too unhappy with their opening day opponents.

Matlock, who did the double over Kettering last term, might not appear the easiest of opposition.

But Bridgeman is quite happy to have them as his first-day visitors as a certain amount of familiarity will help the preparation.

“They are a funny side,” he stated. “Last year they had a couple of exceptional players.

“Their left wing was young, very quick, elusive and probably the difference between the sides.

“But with it being a new season you never know what you are going to get.

“Their pre-season results haven’t gone as well as they would have liked and I think it is a good fixture to have first up.

“We know enough about the way they will play the game that we can be suitably prepared.

“I’ve found it interesting watching how all the teams in our division have progressed (over the summer).

“I think there are a few teams who will find the new season a challenge.”