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Selection options are a headache for Beagles boss

09:00 07 August 2014

Chris Clarke is back from Commonwealth Games duty to compete for Beagles (Pic: Claire Jones)

Chris Clarke is back from Commonwealth Games duty to compete for Beagles (Pic: Claire Jones)

© Claire Jones

But Griffiths has some good athletes returning

Newham and Essex Beagles face a tense few days prior to the last Men’s British League Premier Division match of the season, which could determine their top flight status.

The prospect of relegation from the top flight looked a distinct possibility after the two poor performances in the season’s first two meetings, before victory at last month’s meet in Hendon edged the club above Enfield & Haringey and City of Liverpool.

But while audiences have been enthralled by the Glasgow Games and relish the prospect of the European Championships in Zurich, the events have provided a selection headache for manager Rowan Griffiths, ahead of the vital match in Manchester.

“We’re struggling a little bit as it’s between the two championships – Commonwealth and Europeans next week – so we’ve lost a few athletes because they’ve been selected for those championships,” he said.

“We struggled with first-team matches again because of the championships this summer, but we stepped up in Hendon.

“I’m reasonably comfortable with our survival at the moment, but we’ve still got a few days in which anything can happen in training. We’re looking ok as it stands at the moment.”

The victory has calmed nerves and despite the club’s precarious position, Griffiths remains buoyant and full of praise for his existing squad.

“We’ve got to be realistic,” added Griffiths. “I think winning this match might be a step too far, but we’ve got some good athletes coming in.

“Chris Clarke, who ran in the Commonwealth Games last week is coming to race for us again.

As is Rabah Yousif, who is going out to the Europeans next week and Aidan Syers, who’s running the fastest times of his life in the 100m.”

The selection headache for Griffiths has meant increased opportunity for the club’s youngsters to make an impression.

“We’ve got a very good squad of athletes now – both internationally and for the club and it’s just a tricky combination of when you blood the new young athletes into the team so it doesn’t scare them too much,” said Griffiths.

“But you have to do it at some point, so why not in a few British league matches.”

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