RUGBY UNION: BIRMINGHAM and Solihull Bees coach Pete Glackin is keeping the ‘p’ word to a minimum amid a successful year on the pitch for his side.
The Bees have won their opening 12 league fixtures this term and sit pretty at the top of the Midlands Premier Division, a massive 12 points clear of second placed Newport.
With a huge points difference of 444, the Bees have already been earmarked for promotion.
But Glackin is keeping realistic about his side’s chances and made it clear he is aware of the challenges his side face.
An impressive 22-17 win against Peterborough Lions followed the club’s 100-0 demolition job of Old Halesonians.
And Bees now face two tricky away ties – against Sandbach and Bournville – prior to the Christmas break.
Speaking to The Observer, Glackin said his side are in the middle of a ‘tough block’ of fixtures.
“Peterborough was a tough match and we now face a tricky fixture against Sandbach this weekend with Bourneville to follow,” said Glackin.
“These are important games, we want to be in a strong position before the Christmas break.
“We don’t want to look too far ahead as we’ve said from the start of this season that we’ll be taking the league one game at a time.
“We know what’s in front of us, be our focus is this week’s game. It’ll be a tough test on the road.
“Sandbach have been performing well and we understand there’s another tough game to follow after that.”
The 38-year-old coach revealed his side only aimed to better their fifth placed finish from last season, but they didn’t rule out promotion.
He said: “Our goal for this season was gauged on last year’s performance.
“We wanted to exceed fifth place and put ourselves in a competitive position.
“We’re not shouting that ‘we’re going for promotion’.
“All we want to do is be in a position where we can be successful as a squad.”
And it seems fitness has been the key to Birmingham and Solihull Bees’ success story on the pitch thus far.
He added: “We identified at the start of the season that we’d need to be the fittest in the league if we want to play our style of rugby.
“Our work during pre-season was essential to the league. We’ve held up well and the boys have worked hard in different areas.
“We’ve built a strong culture around the senior squad this year, very much based on high work ethic – both on and off the pitch.
“We haven’t achieved anything yet though, but there are hints what we’re doing is working given our position in the league table.
“It’s good to have competition in the senior squad. We want to keep players fit and healthy, and competing for first team selection is a natural way to do it.
“We have a good core of senior players with lots of youth players coming through the system.
“Having strength in depth is a good ingrediant that helps us pull through.”
Picture: Manjit Narotra.