Fed-up East Kilbride Rugby Club coach just wants to see the back of this season


Fed-up East Kilbride Rugby Club coach Allan Steel says he can’t wait to see the back of this season, and worries how it is going to affect players in the summer.

Tennent’s West League 1 is down to seven teams with others bowing out, and Steel says the stop-start nature of games is taking the fun out of it.

The worry he has is that players will just walk away if they’re not getting to play regularly, and hopes everything is back to normal next season.

He said: “It’s just trying to get games on – people have got Covid every other week, now, and it’s becoming a bit of an issue.

“It has taken the fun out of it a wee bit for the guys, nobody wants to train all the time and not play.

“It has been a major issue with everyone – coaches and players – and really we just want a run of games.

“At the end of the day that’s what we’re in this for – we want to play rugby, not to train and do fitness all the time.

“It’s a case of getting this out the way and start looking to next season.”

Steel added: “Everyone’s kind of fed-up, I think, with the season to be honest, just with the way it’s going.

“There’s no continuity or rhythm or anything. Teams are calling off and now it’s dragging games into the middle of May, and nobody wants the season to go on that long.

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“That’s been two games since December 11, so it’s not really much fun. It seems like you’re working hard every week and then there’s nothing.

“The players is the biggest concern for me. At the end of the day they play rugby because they want to, they want to come and enjoy it and they’re not getting paid to be there.

East Kilbride coach Allan Steel says it has been a difficult season
East Kilbride coach Allan Steel says it has been a difficult season

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“Come the Saturday, you’re telling them the game is off, it’s disheartening for the players, and that’s the worry when you’ve got such young guys, that it puts them off.

“But it’s a strange time for everyone.

“Hopefully by the end of this season we can regroup and then next season we can get things back to normal.”

Third-placed East Kilbride lost 14-5 at Annan on Saturday, and Steel reckons that flattered their opponents.

But he’s looking for them to bounce back when they travel to near-neighbours Cambuslang this weekend.

He said: “It was a good game, it was very close. Probably the scoreline flattered them, believe it or not, with a couple of penalties at the end.

“I thought our guys played well throughout, it was quite a young side we had out. We made a few wee mistakes and we didn’t get the rub of the green in a few key decisions.

“But on the whole, considering we hadn’t played much rugby in the last two months, I thought we did okay.

“I was pleased with the performance – we stuck together, defended well, and on another day we would probably have put another few chances away.”

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On Saturday’s game, Steel said: “It’s a local derby at the weekend, Cambuslang are another good team.

“We’ll see what we’ve got – we had a few guys off with Covid last week, a few injuries… it’s like you get to Thursday and see who’s available.

“It has been a very strange season in that sense, trying to get games and players available, but the guys gave a good account of themselves on Saturday, and everybody’s keen to get this weekend on so we can make up for the disappointment.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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