I’m a devout Saints supporter and I love the club. We’re a club with heart and we’re up there with the best. Or at least we can be. We have struggled in the past to really excel. We’ve stumbled when we should’ve showed the world what we’re made of. Last year we didn’t manage one Premiership win against the big boys which we really have to do to cement our position as one of the top four.
So when the announcement came of new signings George North and Alex Corbisiero, the Saints loyal were buzzing. Could these newbies be the ones to raise us to glory? Personally, I was a bit sceptical.
They’re superb players, true. Past form shows us that they’re both an asset to the club and that we’ve done incredibly well to secure them. My reservations weren’t about their abilities but from concerns that too much pressure would be on the shoulders of a few key players instead of developing the team as a whole.
Such is the territory with getting the best players, you end up losing them for a large chunk of the season to international duties. To be the best team, our focus has to be on getting that all important breadth and depth in the squad so that we can make a flying start and carry it on during international competitions.
I hope that I’m not coming across negative because it’s far from the case. Not wanting to jinx anything but it seems that we might just be striking that balance.
Despite my original trepidation I’ve been, and remain, hugely excited for this season, not just because the rugby is back (huzzah! I’m like a kid at Christmas) or that we’ve won our first two matches. I’m so excited because there’s a great vibe about the squad. I’m really impressed at how the team seem to have gelled so quickly. Pre-season got us the results that we needed and seems to have been successful in allowing the players and coaches to find their feet and work out the dynamic.
I think that we can expect some great things from all of our players, not just the newbies. My one to watch at the moment is Sam Dickinson. I found him grabbing my attention several times during pre-season and it doesn’t seem to be a fluke as his performance in our opener against Exeter earned him Man Of The Match. Good on him after a frustrating time arriving at Saints with an injury.
Luther Burrell is coming along leaps and bounds and Stephen Myler seems to be developing brilliantly. He’s much more consistent and seems to be playing more confidentidently, perhaps a result of trust bestowed on him as Saints only fly half. Of course Saints also welcome backs coach Alex King, who’s done wonders in France and is set to do the same at Franklin’s Gardens.
I’m not joking, I’m really quite giddy! I reckon we’re in for one heck of a season in the Aviva Premiership. Then there’s the Heineken Cup… It’ll be interesting with familiar faces Castres to kick off. Either way, hoorah for rugby being back, yay to the Saints and what a start to the prem! Who do you fancy for the premiership/cup competitions and will anyone be stupid enough to beat Nick Wood’s 73 seconds of play before his red card?
Guess we’ll have to watch and see!