PLANS to ensure Bees thrive in National League 1 next season are already underway as director of rugby Russell Earnshaw talks to current players about contracts and the future.
With the structure of the club still being hammered out, the negotiations will lay the foundations of the side which should emerge to compete in what is one of the toughest leagues in English rugby.
“The important thing is to keep the boys in the loop about what’s happening and at the moment we are still agreeing a structure,” said Earnshaw.
“I’m making no predictions about us winning the league and bouncing straight back” said Earnshaw. “Many of the clubs have loan arrangements with premiership outfits and the top teams in the division have bigger budgets than we had this season.
“What we’re looking to do is put together a side which will be able to go out there and compete and enjoy their rugby.”
Bees’ season has been dogged by might have beens and the same held true for their final match of 2010/11 when they were floored in the last minute by a penalty kick by Esher’s David Slemen to snatch victory for the home side with the visitors leading 26-27.
Esher have been the bogey side for Bees in the play offs. They should have beaten them at Damson Park yet failed to land the knockout punch whilst on Saturday, already relegated Bees watched as the home side raced into a 26-5 lead with just 35 minutes remaining, to the fury of Earnshaw.
“To concede so many tries like we did wasn’t down to a technical reason but to a mental one which you could expect in the amateur days but it’s a professional game now. The whole idea is to go out and enjoy yourself and do the best you can.”
A try by Adam Clayton had put Bees on the scoreboard, Rob Connolly adding a second. But with the game running away from them, Earnshaw introduced Adrian Griffiths, Mark Woodrow and Tomasi Tanumi.
The effect was immediate, Griffiths scoring from a kick and chase. Woodrow then added a penalty before Tanumi scored, Woodrow converting.
Bees were suddenly in the lead and then the penalty was conceded and Slemen, from long range, kicked Esher to victory.