Ahead of the Abreravon Welsh Premiership 2019/20 season start, star player Joe Tomalin-Reeves and head coach Jason Hyatt look forward to a competitive season with a strong squad.
Last Word on Rugby attended the official Indigo Group Premiership launch, with access to players and coaches. Robert Rees tackles the upcoming Aberavon Welsh Premiership goals and aspirations.
Strong Aber pre-season
Discussing the club’s pre-season efforts flanker Joe Tomalin-Reeves said; “It’s been a fantastic pre-season, we’ve had a strength and conditioning coach Howard Thomas to get the boys firing.
“Everyone has bought into it, are pushing each other and enjoying it at the same time.”
More competitive Welsh Premiership this season
Looking ahead to the new 12-team league the Wizards star explained, “It’s going to make it a much more competitive league and it’s better that way.
Discussing the heightened TV coverage the league has secured, Tomalin-Reeves said, “It’s a great experience and a privilege to play in front of the cameras.
“I think every player in the Premiership thrives off that and I’m glad it gets us publicity because it’s such a good league.”
One step at a time for Aberavon Welsh Premiership club
Despite the obvious lure of silverware JTR isn’t getting too ahead of himself before the season starts and insists it’s one step at a time for him and Aber;
“It’s silverware we’re looking for, we’re always hunting for silverware but let’s get the first few games under belt and firing into them and play as well as we can do what we can to win.”
Before they kick off their season with a Bridgend derby, head coach Jason Hyatt describes the energy in the camp saying, “The energy in camp is as high as I’ve ever felt it. There’s a fizz in the camp.
“It’s hard to determine that as you don’t set out to create that as a coaching group, it comes from within.
“Intrinsic motivation is far more powerful than extrinsic motivation. Credit to the players, there’s a real buzz in the camp.”
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New blood vital for moving team on
Having brought in some excellent acquisitions over the summer Hyatt is keen to press that bringing fresh blood into the scene is vital for a sides progress.
He said, “Fetching new blood into the squad always changes the environment and feel within the camp. We’ve brought some real quality in this year.
“I felt we overplayed some key players last season so we’ve strengthened in those areas and all those boys who’ve come and made a big impact.
“We’ve got some experience in Aled Thomas (see below image) who gained a lot from Gloucester and the Scarlets.”
It hasn’t just been a dash with the cash and a look at big-name players for the Wizards who have also looked at local talent. Hyatt adding, “We’ve signed Garyn Payne from Aberdare and Aled Rees from Pontyberem and they’ve shone in the two warm-up games.
“I’m expecting big things from them and they’ve worked throughout the summer to earn the respect of the squad.”
Pressure internally is what drives the engine
Discussing the idea that they may be one of the favourites heading into the new season the Head Coach explained, “We put enough pressure on ourselves. Me as an individual lives and breathes rugby and I’m fortunate that everyone in our coaching group is the same.
“Players are determined to do well this year and we can see that from the summer and there’s enough pressure there to work with. We don’t feel pressure from the outside.
“We know we’ve got a good squad and there’s quality in every position. We’ve got to learn from the mistakes of last year and start the season well. We don’t believe in setting goals, we just want to play some good rugby.”
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Busy start to the Indigo Group Premiership season
With the movement of the round one cup fixtures to September, it’s a busy start to the season for Hyatt’s men.
“We’ve got a really tough opener [In the cup] against Bargoed who are a really combative side. They beat us last year at their place, always a good game between the two teams and they didn’t get enough credit last year.
“We’ve got a league game, cup and then another league game before a two-week break and then we welcome in the players are on dual contracts with the Ospreys. That’ll increase competition even more.”
The Aberavo Welsh Premiership season begins on September 7, when Bridgend host Abers, at the Brewery Field.
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