ELLON Times writer and local rugby player Jack Calvert took time off from his writing and playing duties this week to reflect on how his club is coping with life in Caledonian Division 1.
Ellon were demoted from National League 1 at the end of last season.
The industrious flanker with the Meadows side admitted life in the local league set up was tougher than he had expected.
“When we came down a division we thought it would be a perfect place to plan a restructure, but we soon realised that there would be no easy games. Early defeats at the ands of Mackie FP’s and St Andrews were quick reminders of how tough it was going to be,” said a realistic Cavert, who is nevertheless sure the club will put three difficult seasons behind them and make its way again, especially now that the club’s management is back in good hands.
“We are lucky to have a former player in the position of president. Richard Porteous has all the experience you could ask for, but he is patient, and will not be rushed into making silly statements about being back in the top flight of the Scottish club game,” said the Hexham born 26 year old.
Calvert was also convinced the club’s policy of embracing students from Aberdeen, mixing them with local talent from the town.
“Traditionally this has worked for the club, as indeed has the youth policy promoted by the committee over its 35 years in existence. We also have a head coach who played in Premiership 1. Michael Cox is a big plus for the Ellon set up, and has some clear targets for the club,” he said.
An aspiring youth set up is another brick in the building process, enthusiastically led by Gareth Evans, though having no second fifteen to back up the Caley Division 1 team is a downside for the Meadows team.
“Effectively it means young players are been thrown into a very competitive league, but they have acquitted themselves well. A good run in the second half of the season would serve us well, especially as we are into the latter stages of the Regional Shield, and daring to hope we could go all the way to a Murrayfield final in the spring. It would be great for morale at the club,” said Calvert who was well aware that the club has already had two excursions to the national stadium in Edinburgh.
Calvert concluded his upbeat view of the future for Ellon saying: “This is a great club to be associated with. We may be experiencing a steep learning curve, but we’ll benefit in the long run. The town deserves to have a good rugby club.”
Recently, at the mid-point of the season, captain Liam Slaven expressed frustration after a loss to Strathmore in a home game they could have won.
He said the club had experienced some difficult games in which they had not played well, but had shown glimpses of what they could do, adding that Ellon had yet to play to their full potential. This would be their aim for the second half of the season.