June 19 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Newham & Essex Beagles team manager Bob Smith believes a top-10 finish at Saturday’s English Cross Country four-stage relays is realistic for his depleted side.
They will be without several of their key performers at Berry Hill Park, including Keith Gerrard, Dave Mitchinson, Chris McKie, Kevin Skinner and Kairn Stone, who are all unavailable.
But despite that he still holds hopes of a solid performance from his team, who recently won the National six-stage road relay title at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire.
“With this four-stage event you have to have two good, solid runners and that opens the competition up to a number of teams”, said Smith.
“We aren’t going into it confident of winning, but I feel a top-10 place would be achievable.”
At the time the Recorder went to press Smith was only able to confirm three of his four-man team.
They will be represented by John Beattie, Frank Baddick and Steve Hepples, while Smith is still frantically trying to sort out the fourth runner.
Rory Chesser, currently in Ireland appears to be the most likely at this stage as they prepare to make the trip to Mansfield.
“These things happen, you can’t do much about certain athletes being unavailable, it is not like football where they are all contracted to the club,” added Smith. “Athletes have jobs and it is just one of these things we have to deal with.”
As well as that, Smith is also trying to organise a team for the second Metropolitan League fixture the following weekend as they hope to build on their solid start, which sees them in second place after the first meeting at Claybury back on October 20.
“Hopefully I will be able to take a bit of a breather after the Met League fixture,” he said.
“I have 56 athletes to check on and I am hopeful of getting some of the decent club runners out for that and then there is a little break in fixtures.
“But the main competitions coming up for us are the National Cross Country Championships and the 12-stage road relays later in the year.”