Cinderford RFC: 'We don't need home comforts to win'
FEARLESS Cinderford can continue to thrive in National League One – whether home or away, believes Andy Deacon.
The Foresters' rugby director believes his uninhibited young charges do not care whether they are slugging it out at Dockham Road or at the other end of the country.
And he is confident Cinderford will be a force in the league because of that ability to produce strong showings, whatever the location of the turf they tread.
Cinderford have four pre-season fixture weekends – and all four are scheduled as home contests.
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Welsh side Llandovery pitch up on August 11, Old Centralians on August 15 and Hartpury RFC on Saturday, August 18.
Cinderford's United side take on Old Patesians on Saturday, August 25, before the first XV clash with Bridgend in a testing double-header.
Deacon believes the run of matches can help spark a strong start to the new season, with Cinderford travelling to Cambridge on September 1 to open their National One account.
Standout victories at Tynedale and Birmingham – allied to a near-miss at promotion-winners Jersey – underline Cinderford's happy travels last term.
And Deacon sees no reason why those successes cannot be repeated, and even improved upon.
Deacon said sticking to the script is far more crucial to victory than home advantage, or even a lack of it.
He said: "It's probably because they are young and play without a fear factor, but these lads are not bothered whether they are home or away.
"They can produce the goods at some of the toughest places to go, and they can produce the goods at home too.
"But equally, there have been some stuffy performances that have not mattered whether we've been at home or not too.
"But they went to Tynedale, they went to Birmingham, and both of those were not great performances – but they got the results.
"And we should have beaten Jersey in Jersey too.
"The lads love a good away trip, they love a night out in Newcastle, and we had a great weekend in Jersey. It helps bond the players together, and perhaps it helps them on the field too.
"That's happened naturally and we haven't tried specifically to instil that, but it's hugely pleasing that they play without any inhibitions.
"Whether we win or lose, it's not about where we're playing, it's about how we execute the gameplan, to be honest, and that's the most important thing.
"The players realise that now, and they know that provided they perform well then they will be in the mix for a victory.
"All our pre-season games are at home which will be great for our fans to build a bit of excitement for the start of the campaign.
"But I really don't think we will lose out for not having any away games in that schedule."