Levett looks to set a solid base to build on

Worthing Raiders celebrate a try last season
Worthing Raiders celebrate a try last season

New Worthing Raiders head coach Jody Levett is looking to set a solid base to build on in the upcoming season.

Levett spent ten years at Roundstone Lane as a player and returned to Worthing this summer along with Ian Davies, who is high performance manager. Ben Coulson is Levett’s assistant and Raiders have a three-year plan to get into National 1.

Looking ahead to the upcoming National 2 South campaign, which begins at Exmouth on Saturday, Levett said: “There’s a lot of money being spent by a lot of teams, that’s the nature of the league we’re in but we’ve said all along it’s a three-year project.

“It’s a matter of putting things into place this year to build that solid base, get a strong second team and then, when the time is right on the pitch and behind the scenes and we’ve got the depth of squad that is required, then we’ll look to move through into National 1.

“Once we make that push and it’s at the right time for everybody, we’ll look to stay there. If that isn’t for two years, it’s not for two years. If it’s three, it’s three because there’s nothing worse than the yo-yo effect, so it’s a building process and everyone is aware of that.

“If we win every game this year, you’d take promotion and grasp it, of course you would, but it’s been openly said we’ve got a three-year project. We’re looking to get things in place and, when the time is right, we’ll take it from there.”

On aims for the season, Levett said: “We haven’t set any targets for this season at the moment. It’s still too early as we don’t know what players the opposition are picking up. You can make bold statements but you could do that and then be bottom at Christmas, which is why we wouldn’t say that.

“It’s a three-year project and it’s building on all the opportunities that are there. If we’re battling relegation, we’re battling relegation. If we’re fighting for promotion, we’re doing that. In our own minds, we know where we want to be as if you’re at the wrong end of the table it’s hard to recruit so we need to be in that top half, in reality.”

Coulson played with Levett for several years at Worthing and is excited about the season ahead, after returning to the club as a coach three years ago.

He said: “We’re realistic, the group of players are working very hard and we’ve got to improve on last year – whether or not we’re able to, we’ll wait and see but we’re working very hard to achieve that.

“A three-year plan is in place and we’re looking for incremental improvements as we progress.

“It would be incredibly pleasing to be successful here as a coach. I was fortunate enough playing with Jody that we had three promotions together under Ian.

“To get some coaching success would be brilliant, it would give some kind of acknowledgement that I can do the next bit, whether that be getting promotion or doing better than we did last year, it would be very gratifying.”

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