RUGBY LEAGUE: Selection problems for St George
SWINDON St George captain George Cowley thinks if he could have had his strongest side out every week the story of their season could have been very different.
St George have struggled to get positive results, despite encouraging performances on the pitch, as they have rebuilt their squad from last season.
Currently the Greenbridge Road club are winless in the West of England Premier Division, with now just three games remaining to chalk up a success.
Key players like Killian Spain, Mike Thompson and Matty Dickens have not been available week-in-week-out for various reasons as St George have had to draw from their large but still developing sqaud.
Cowley is certain had the best 13 players been in the team every week then St George’s progression would have taken hold far quicker.
“If I was able to field all our best players at the same time, it would have been a very different season,” Cowley told the Advertiser.
“Our issue at the moment is that last season we had eight players turning up for training, now we’ve had as many as 28. It’s a huge turnaround and some of those players are still learning to play rugby league.
“The ethic of what I’m trying to get across, is to enjoy and promote rugby league in the first instance, then we go onto worrying about strategies. That’s only once we all have a full understanding of the sport.”
This weekend St George travel to Bristol Sonics, a team who beat them 50-20 in the reverse fixture at the start of June. Again St George will be not be favourites but it is a position that Cowley is more than comfortable with.
“The beauty of being the underdogs is there are no expectations on us, the players can take no pressure from off the field,” he said.
“The key focus for us is to take each game as it comes and treat each one as a cup final and the opposition should be aware of that. All the opposition sides have said the collisions have been considerably more intense than they were expecting, we have a large team of motivated players.”