Club Face Questions At BRIS Trust Q&A
Middleton and Gorvett talk about Club's future
The BRIS Trust Q&A took place on Wednesday evening, as supporters gathered to ask questions about the Club to Head Coach Liam Middleton and Chief-Executive Steve Gorvett.
Following an introduction from the Trust Chairman Andrew Humphreys, Steve Gorvett discussed the Memorial Stadium redevelopment, while Liam Middleton focused on onfield matters and his ambitions for the campaign.
The Memorial Stadium redevelopment
CEO Steve Gorvett: “We’ve committed to remain at the Memorial Stadium for next season, but we don’t know where Bristol Rovers will be after that.
“If they start to build at the UWE site in June as planned, there will only be one more season at the Mem. We have a strong long-term relationship with the Rovers and we’re keeping our options open.
“Our shareholders will look closely over the next few months on when to make the right decision. Nothing has been decided yet, although we obviously have various options.”
The 2012/13 season so far
Head Coach Liam Middleton: “It’s been a frustrating season so far. We had up to sixteen frontline players missing at the beginning of the campaign, and that impacted upon performance.
“We’re still striving to find a flow to our game, which we haven’t quite found yet. Last season, we peaked in January – this time around, we plan to peak in the next six weeks and hang on to that form going into the end of the season.
“If we find our form, we will be a tough side to stop. I am 100% confident that when this group of players peaks, we will be an incredibly difficult team to beat.”
Future additions and recruitment
Head Coach Liam Middleton: “Our recruitment process is ongoing. If we see there is talent and it’s available, we will add it to our squad. They have to be right for Bristol Rugby.
“They must make a difference and be significantly better than what we already have. I expect anybody who represents this Club to be entrenched in our culture and to play with immense spirit for the shirt."
The competitiveness of the RFU Championship
Head Coach Liam Middleton: “It’s incredibly tough to get out of the RFU Championship, and it gets harder every year. The competition has increased as Aviva Premiership squads get smaller and the talent trickles down into the second tier.
“The gulf between the two divisions is narrowing year on year. The teams that achieve promotion, like Exeter and London Welsh, are battle-hardened by a grueling competition and are well-prepared for the vigours of the Premiership.”
Contract negotiations with existing squad members
Head Coach Liam Middleton: “We’ve started the contract negotiation process and we’ve been pro-active in holding onto the players that we have. We’ve made a number of offers to players that we are hoping to retain and who can drive this Club forward.
“We’ll be expecting to release news about contracts within the next fourteen days, the deadline for players is the 28th February.”
Morale among the playing squad
Head Coach Liam Middleton: “Over the past few weeks, our preparation has been more intense and more competitive than at any point last season. There is a real drive and determination to do well.
“The players are in a good place mentally. We have set some clear goals of what we need to do in the six weeks. No-one has given up on winning the competition, not players, coaches, directors or backroom staff.
“We are constantly working towards a distinct way of playing. We haven’t changed our philosophy and our style is the right one.”