PLYMOUTH Albion are set to have a number of trialists among their ranks when they return for pre-season training at the end of this month.
Director of rugby Graham Dawe says the club, who were relegated from the Championship to National One in April after nearly going out of business, have to make sure they sign the ‘right’ players this summer and cannot afford to offer contracts out too easily.
“Ultimately, we are going to have a small squad,” said Dawe. “So I’m sure they will be a few guys trial out for a couple of weeks.
“In the situation this club finds itself, we have to have people come in on trial.
“All might be good players and the right ones, but we have to be sure.
“It’s about trying to get a good balance of a team together. We are also trying to get a mix between full and part-time players and so people have to fit into that mix.”
Bringing players in on trial is not a new policy for Dawe. During his first spell at the club he would often have players come in and train with the team before deciding whether to sign them.
Robin Copeland, who has since gone on to play for Ireland, was one player who famously earned a contract after impressing Dawe during a trial, while the likes of Matt Hopper, Lee Robinson, Rory Watts-Jones and Mike Denbee all trained and played for the club before winning deals.
“Players have to believe in themselves,” said Dawe. “The best players are the ones with desire – the ones who want to better themselves and display passion. You want people who are prepared to bruise their own bodies as well as others.”
Dawe is having to totally rebuild the Albion team on limited finances after the majority of players left the club following their relegation in April with just three league wins to their name.
So far Plymouth have only confirmed eight players for next season, three of which are loan players, and Dawe has warned supporters not to expect 20 signings in the next fortnight ahead of the start of pre-season training.
Albion will begin their league campaign on September 5 when they entertain Richmond at Brickfields. You can view a full list of Plymouth’s 015/16 National One fixtures HERE