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Beagles boss wants better

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 June 2015 | UPDATED: 10:11 04 June 2015

Beagles hope to have Dale Clutterbuck back this weekend (pic: Newham & Essex Beagles)

Beagles hope to have Dale Clutterbuck back this weekend (pic: Newham & Essex Beagles)

Archant

Griffiths keen to see improvements at Lee Valley

Newham & Essex Beagles team manager Rowan Griffiths is hoping the team’s British Athletics League cause can be helped by a number of returning athletes at Lee Valley this weekend.

European gold medalist Rabah Yousif is expected to line up in the 400m, while Dale Clutterbuck, fresh from setting a new personal best, will take to the track in the 800m.

Also missing from the opening match in Sheffield were Commonwealth Games medalist Max Eaves in the pole vault and high jumpers Matthew Roberts and Simon Phelan.

But with so many big names returning for the Beagles, Griffiths is confident the team can improve on last month’s seventh place finish on ‘home turf’.

“It’s a better time of the year for us as we have a few more athletes available,” said Griffiths.

“The athletes are also further along in their training so hopefully it means better performances too.

“There are some good athletes returning for us at Lee Valley this weekend and hopefully that will see us move up the standings.”

Several club members took part in the Bedford International in blustery conditions, including Alex Al Ameen.

The 110m hurdles specialist ran a wind-assisted time of 13.67 and a legal season’s best of 13.71 at the meet, but may choose to compete

at the Diamond League in Birmingham this weekend, as may sprinter James Ellington.

Whether or not Al Ameen takes to the track in Lee Valley, the weather is expected to improve and Griffiths feels this will only make his team better.

“There were a few who took part in the event at Bedford and the conditions weren’t the best. Alex did really well in the hurdles given the conditions,” he added.

Eight teams compete in the Premier Division of the BAL and Griffiths was disappointed the team could only finish second bottom last time out.

He does, however, admit the Beagles were unfortunate to have to compete in Yorkshire with a depleted squad.

Safe in the knowledge many of the team’s stars are returning and coupled with an improvement in the weather for the meet at Lee Valley, Griffiths knows the only way is up.

“I don’t think, with the quality we have at the club, we should be finishing seventh on too regular a basis,” he said.

“Last year we had a squad that was often finshing in the top half of the table in BAL meetings on a regular basis.

“That’s the aim again this year and I’m confident that with the return of some quality athletes, we can finish in the mid to the top of the table.”

With confidence from their boss, Beagles will be at full tilt to set the record straight this weekend.


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