HEWORTH ARLC boss Tim Rumford is advocating old clichés ahead of the Villagers’ “new start”.
Rumford has taken over from Stuart Brown as head coach at Elmpark Way, just as the club sink into the new division three of the restructured National Conference League having endured 27 months without a single league victory.
He hopes a new outlook will be augmented by some new faces at the club – but he has warned that dropping into this new tier will not necessarily make life easier on the pitch, hence his philosophy of taking one game at a time and focusing on performances not results.
“It could be a double-edged sword,” said the 35-year-old when asked if playing at a lower level could spark a renaissance.
“We can’t afford to take any team lightly. To me, it won’t be a step down in terms of the strength of the other teams.
“There are some good names in there and some new teams who will be wanting to make a name for themselves. We’ll have to be on our guard.
“But this is also a fresh start for Heworth and starting in a new division emphasises that. In that way it’s helpful.
“It will be one game at a time for us. It’s an old cliché but at Heworth it’s got to be the prescribed course of action. The lads are an unknown quantity to me and I’m new to them.
“It’s going to be all about performance. My coaching philosophy is to improve performances individually and as a team and hopefully wins won’t be far behind.
“I don’t want to put the players under undue pressure. Building performances week on week is our aim.”
Rumford, having been a junior at Heworth, had two spells at York Wasps either side of time in Castleford’s Alliance side, plus short stints at Hunslet and Batley. He also played for Cas Lock Lane amateurs.
The winger/full-back began his coaching career in Castleford Tigers’ youth system. He was player performance manager for their academy and was assistant to Richard Pell with both the Tigers’ under-18s and, in 2011, at Championship One outfit Gateshead. He rejoined Cas later that year as scholarship manager, a role he continues to do in addition to coaching at Heworth.
Pre-season training began this month, with sessions in bad weather taking place on the all-weather surface at Canon Lee School and on the 3G pitch and in the sports hall at Burnholme School. Rumford is pleased with the way it has gone.
“I’ve always followed Heworth quite keenly and going back had always interested me,” he explained.
“I know they’ve had a few disappointing seasons but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the application of the players.
“We’ve had 28 players on average at each training session and they’re throwing themselves into it and buying into the new ideas.”
The league is likely to kick off on March 2, and before then Heworth have friendlies against Gateshead Storm, at Elmpark Way on February 16 (2pm), and York Lokomotive the following weekend.
• The National Conference League annual general meeting has twice been postponed due to bad weather and will now take place on February 4, at 8pm, at Leigh Miners Rangers.