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Rugby club looks to new generation

PUBLISHED: 11:35 08 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 07 July 2010

Fakenham Rugby Club's Eastern Counties quartet.

Fakenham Rugby Club's Eastern Counties quartet.

FAKENHAM Rugby Club are suffering a middle age crisis. The club was formed in 1983 and now, 26 years later, the young blood from that era is beginning to drain away, writes Peter Bird.

FAKENHAM Rugby Club are suffering a middle age crisis. The club was formed in 1983 and now, 26 years later, the young blood from that era is beginning to drain away, writes Peter Bird.

“We've been a very successful club but we are now beginning to lose quite a few players who joined us early on,” said chairman Alan Young. “Our first team is being weakened by players retiring - players who have been the backbone of the club for many years.”

Fakenham are currently in Division One of the Eastern Counties league but there is a possibility that if results go against them at the end of the season they could drop a division.

But this is not a scenario the club is taking lying down and their strategy has been to concentrate more of their efforts on bringing through a new generation of players.

And it appears to be working. This season four of their younger players have been picked for the newly-formed Eastern Counties U20 squad and all have played at least one representative game for the region. Joe Bane-Young is only 18 and the other three are 19-year-olds Jono Strong, Tim Syers and Josh Sperring.

All have also had experience of playing for the club's first team. “That they have broken through to the first team is encouraging for the club and it means that from the way we are coaching and developing our younger players it's obvious we are doing the right thing,” said Young.

Those at the very beginning of their careers have always been looked after with the club running sides for each year group from U7 to U14.

“We still hope to recruit more new players,” said Young who added that rugby was not just about on-field performance. “We're a friendly welcoming club with a good social atmosphere.”

More details about the club can be found on-line at www.Fakenhamrugbyclub.com

Eastern Counties One leaders Lowestoft & Yarmouth maintained their 100 per cent record in less than satisfactory circumstances when they were granted a walk-over by scheduled opponents Fakenham.

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