Sidmouth Chiefs head coach Phil Dolman speaks about the 2019/20 season.

PUBLISHED: 16:17 13 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:18 13 May 2020

Rugby ball.

Rugby ball.

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Sidmouth RFC head coach Phil Dolman has had time to reflect on the Chiefs season, one cut short by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Sidmouth RFC head coach Phil Dolman. Picture SRFCSidmouth RFC head coach Phil Dolman. Picture SRFC

Speaking about the season he says: “Firstly, I must start by congratulating, and thanking all those involved in the club this year.

“The sponsors, supporters, volunteers, coaches, committee members, club staff, juniors section and players to name a few parts in the well-oiled machine that is Sidmouth RFC.”

He continued: “It is always very easy and enjoyable for Jack [fellow Chiefs’ coach Jack Yeandle] and I to turn up and coach, and for the players to come and play with the full support from everyone at the club and the local community.”

Speaking specifically about the season, Dolman said: “On the rugby side it was a step into the unknown for a lot of us, although a few have experienced these higher leagues.

“This fact was shown in those early season results, which had been quickly forgotten toward the seasons end when we fought our way to a position to compete with the top teams.

“There was a lot to be learnt as a group and perhaps most to be learnt as a coaching and management team. Managing expectations and producing results the early goals for me as head coach. Something the players took in their stride after the early season blip.

“Confidence is huge in rugby and from that first win in the game against Lydney and the performances that followed in the mid-season block of games, were very pleasing to see. It helped to lift the levels of belief in the squad so they could understand that they really do not need to be anything but themselves to do well in this league.”

He continued: “The team was fully deserving of its fifth-place position though that position would surely have been higher when you consider the five consecutive defeats at the start of the campaign and how the team has improved since that Lydney win.”

In terms of the ‘wider club’, Dolman says: “As a club we are in a great place across the board, with plenty of hard work and commitment to all aspects.

“It’s been a fantastic year before the lockdown began and I’m sure everyone will be chomping to get back into a new season!”


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