Following a buzzing open day which attracted 150 guests, Millwall Rugby Club will take to the pitch for a second season in Essex One.
Their opening home match against Stanford le Hope is on September 19.
We chat with new club captain Tom Bradfield, who has taken his place in the club’s second or back rows for the past two years.
First up, congratulations on your club captain role.
It feels really good. I’m really looking forward to moving the club on and hopefully getting promotion this season
Tell us about your first season in Essex One.
We had very good support and everyone pulled their weight to make sure we kept on winning the games we had to, and not lose the ones when we were playing opposition close to us. We lost a few games just after Christmas but we picked it back up. We ended up coming fifth out of 12 which was really good.
Two teams will be promoted this year – have you got your sights set on silverware?
We are aiming for promotion but we will re-assess after the first few games so we can see if we are in a position to challenge. Ilford came third last year and I’m sure they will make a strong challenge and Maldon came fourth and they’ll be strong again too.
How’s preparation going?
We’ve just started pre-season. We’ve had a few new people come down and we’ve had a couple who have left, like Turi McLeod-Bennett who went back to New Zealand. But there are a lot of players in the second team knocking on the door so hopefully they will be able to push through.
Last year there were problems with a waterlogged pitch - how much does this impact the team?
If our pitch isn’t up to standard we can secure a pitch elsewhere, but it’s expensive so it doesn’t help. We haven’t had to cancel a game but we prefer to play on the Millwall pitch where our clubhouse is.
What’s so good about Millwall Rugby Club?
It’s one of the most friendly clubs I’ve ever been at. It’s got a great clubhouse, we play hard on the pitch and have a great atmosphere within the teams. We seem to be improving, so hopefully we will be playing at a higher level as the seasons go on.
The club is also appealing for players to fill the last spots.
For more information visit the website .