BRIAN DICK, STAFF WRITER
The coaches who guided Moseley to Twickenham glory and a place in next season’s Championship are looking to stay at Billesley Common and are working on making sure the players who helped them achieve it do likewise.
Head coach Ian Smith and backs specialist Don Caskie have expressed their desire to take their tenure at the club into a fifth season and – as in previous years – have once again set their sights on keeping together virtually the whole Red and Black squad.
Smith believes that process can begin in earnest after last Saturday’s win at Manchester secured their level two status for another year and accomplished their pre-season aim of finishing in the league’s top 12.
But they also have the bargaining chip of the EDF Energy National Trophy to give potential recruits proof of the fact that the former giants of the sport are once again moving in the right direction.
And with that stupendous final victory over Leeds Carnegie fresh in his players’ memory, Smith will try to contract as many as possible for next term.
“Don and I are looking forward to next season, we just need the club to put something in front of us,” Smith said. “We have already done quite a bit of player retention work.
“We will be retaining the bulk of the players. Now we have got the final out of the way and the first of what we thought would be a four-game series, we can make some real headway. We can now work at getting as many people signed as we can. As in most seasons we want to get the existing squad signed up, that’s the main thing.
“A lot of the boys have got offers, some have signed already. We have also spoken to a few new players and we have got some confirmed.”
Smith has already gone a long way to keeping the keystones of his side with props Nathan Williams and Terry Sigley and hooker Adam Caves all signed up for another year.
Smith, whose team play Plymouth Albion on Wednesday night when the cup will be paraded around Billesley Common, maintains the successes of the last fortnight have given the club a chance to make further progress.
That match, the last home fixture of the campaign, is likely to be played before a bumper crowd in celebratory mood and determined to roar Mose on to an unlikely top-eight finish. “Moseley now has an opportunity to really push on, on the field and off it,” Smith said. “It’s going to be a good league next year and very competitive. Being part of that is something to be very proud of but we cannot sit back and just enjoy it because the whole club has to move on.
“We had to hold our nerve because the table was not necessarily a true reflection of where we stood. The boys have approached the situation in a fairly professional way and stayed on track. If we finish eighth or ninth that would be a true reflection of where we are – a pretty good side in a relentless and tough league that has also had a very hard cup run. That would be a fantastic achievement and one we’d have settled for at the start of the season.”