Cole’s Brods are looking up, not down

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After seeing his side flirt briefly with the threat of Yorkshire One relegation last season, Old Brodleians coach John Cole is eyeing a challenge at the other end of the table this time round.

Brods kick off their season against Dinnington at Woodhead tomorrow with a revamped line up and an ambitious outlook.

“We want to attack the top end of the table this year,” said Cole.

“Our expectation is that we should be among the top four or five clubs and, if things go well for us, we could have a tilt at one of those two promotion places.

“It is not just blind optimism; we know we were not a million miles off last year.

“We were only six points off being in that top five and with the quality of players we have recruited and the development of our younger players, it is realistic to think we can close that gap.”

Brods, who flogged Lancashire side Pendle in their pre-season opener before losing at North East One new boys Huddersfield YMCA last weekend, will be nothing if not cosmopolitan.

The Woodhead club have recruited centre Sam Deacon, a New Zealander, James Wellington, an Australian second row, and are currently awaiting the arrival of Tongan prop Loma Kivalu, who will arrive in England in the next fortnight.

“I think we’ve lost three players and brought 11 in,” said Cole.

“We feel we are in a stronger position than we were last year.

“Pre-season has gone well; we expected Pendle to be stronger than they were, but we did what we had to do pretty well.

“We were winning after 60 minutes at YMCA, but we only took 19 players and that lack of a bench probably told on us in the end because they were spelling players.

“Dinnington is a difficult game, they’re a team people are tipping for top four, and they’re certainly going to be stronger than they were last season.”