Dalziel Rugby Club head coach Graham Calder eyes promotion after previously being denied chance by cornavirus
Dalziel Rugby Club player/head coach Graham Calder says his squad have “unfinished business” after hearing that competitive Scottish club rugby is to resume in September.
Dalziel was among the 63% of 252 clubs to vote for this Scottish Rugby restart proposal, as opposed to favouring a regionalised, uncompetitive set-up.
Representatives of the Motherwell outfit are keen to make up for lost time having been denied the chance to gain promotion from Tennent’s West Division 2 in season 2019-20 when Scottish leagues were null and voided in March 2020 due to coronavirus. Although Dalziel trailed leaders Strathaven by 15 points at that time, they had four games in hand to overturn this deficit.
“We were in no doubt how we wanted to vote,” Calder told the Times and Speaker.
"It was always a goal getting promotion because unfortunately the leagues were stopped due to Covid.
"We feel we’ve got a bit of unfinished business because we were so close to getting promotion last time and we genuinely feel that if the league had finished then we would have gained promotion.
"Since then we’ve used the time productively, our numbers are still high and the boys are raring to go.
"We have managed to retain the core players who got so close to winning the league. We’re really looking forward to giving the boys the opportunity to win the league this time. There’s no other goal.”
Dalziel players are currently training one night a week ahead of full pre-season training beginning in early July.
Graham, 39, who plays at scrum half for Dalziel, has vowed to keep playing for “as long as my body allows”.
He added: “I absolutely love being on the pitch but more than anything I love being part of the club at the moment. It’s just a great place to be involved, working with great players and the club’s on the up and up.
"There’s obviously competition, with boys pushing for places all over the park including scrum half. That’s what happens when your team becomes competitive.”
Leading Dalziel on the pitch are matchday captain George Sloan and club captain Ross Mitchell.
"They are both excellent,” Graham said. “They lead by example in everything they do on and off the park.”