After Survival Saturday’s excitements and Cinderford RFC’s place in National League 1 secure, a new era at the Forest based club can begin! With a new club focus, led by Director of Professional Rugby and Coaching Nic Corrigan and a newly formed partnership with the University of Gloucestershire, there is no doubt Cinderford are placing themselves where they need to be in order to experience success.
After an incredibly intense 6 months Cinderford RFC finished the season with the necessary four bonus points wins and 25 tries needed, to remain in the third tier of English rugby. A position Corrigan doesn’t want to find themselves in next year ‘we’ve worked hard to understand our failures both on and off the pitch, today signifies a new start for Cinderford RFC in our playing and business strategy’. 10 new signings including scrum half Louis Silver from fellow National League 1 club Coventry will join the eighteen players retained from the current squad and Corrigan is looking for players to fulfil their potential both on and off the pitch; developing a player centred philosophy and club that will be sustainable over seasons to come. On-going discussions with Bristol, Bath and Worcester Rugby clubs around embedding dual registered players, are in place and Corrigan is confident this will further add to the squad ‘I see firmly as our role to support academies with development of young English talent. National 1 at 30 games is a competitive competition and the relationships with those clubs are vital to our success.’
The partnership with the University of Gloucestershire will see Cinderford RFC utilise the facilities at the Oxtalls campus, which will now become the clubs training base. Players will benefit from the first class facilities including: a strength and conditioning gym, therapy suites and a training pitch. Director of sport at the university, Dr Andrew Pitchford who has spearheaded the partnership with Corrigan, said ‘We are delighted to be partnering with Cinderford RFC. They are a proud and historic club but between us we can bring something very new to high level rugby and to university sport. We’re really excited about working with them both on and off the pitch and look forward to a long and productive relationship’.
Cinderford RFC, for their part, have committed to support University of Gloucestershire students seeking a career in the sports industry by providing incredibly valuable vocational experiences through a number of season long internships. In addition, 5 centrally contracted coaches working within the newly formed Cinderford RFC community department, many of which will be completing masters programs at the university as a result of the partnership, will work with the Universities BUCS teams to help deliver professional support to the growing and successful rugby department at the university. The same coaches will be deployed across Forest of Dean schools to further improve the clubs reputation and commitment to bringing top quality rugby and coaching to the community.
Newly appointed Commercial Executive Pippa Regan now leads a more focused commercial plan which aims to develop partnerships that interact with core brands in the community and fit in line with the vision and values the club are proud to uphold. A unique and exciting opportunity to support the club will offer organisations cost effective advertising packages and the potential to win over £10,000 worth of sponsorship.
Cinderford RFC will kick off their National League 1 campaign with a friendly fixture at Dockham Road on 29th August against the Cornish All Blacks; an away fixture against Llandovery and a training weekend with Nottingham Rugby will form Cinderford’s pre-season preparations.
While the club has focused to put the systems in place off the pitch it will be the performance of the flagship team on the pitch where Cinderford’s development will truly be tested. ‘The season is about establishing P.R.I.D.E in how we conduct ourselves on and off the pitch. Our biggest assets are our people including our supporters and volunteers’ Corrigan.
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