Try-happy Bees are buzzing for crack at pro­mo­tion

The Rugby Paper - - Regional Results - ■ By NEALE HAR­VEY

BIRM­ING­HAM & Soli­hull head of rugby Pete Glackin in­sists the dark days are over as his fast-im­prov­ing side gun for pro­mo­tion from the Mid­lands Premier League on the back of the best points scor­ing record any­where in lev­els one to five.

Bees, who fa­mously de­feated Pre­mier­ship cham­pi­ons Wasps in a Pow­er­gen Cup tie in 2004, fell into steep de­cline dur­ing the late Noughties, nearly go­ing bust be­fore a se­ries of rel­e­ga­tions saw them reach a nadir of Na­tional Three rugby in 2015.

How­ever, since then the Port­way out­fit has sta­bilised and un­der for­mer Bees full-back Glackin, who was re­cruited in 2016 after a six-year coach­ing stint at Coven­try, a fifth­place fin­ish last sea­son laid foun­da­tions for a con­certed pro­mo­tion push.

Glackin, who also heads Wasps’ academy ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme at Coven­try Col­lege, told TRP: “We’ve got a bit of suc­cess go­ing on the field and a lot of that is down to our chair­man, Chris Loughran, whose sup­port has been para­mount.

“He put a lot of time into en­sur­ing the club sur­vived, es­pe­cially dur­ing those re­ally tough times from a few years back. It’s a nice re­ward for him to see us do­ing well and, as a for­mer player, it’s great to see us head­ing in a pos­i­tive di­rec­tion again.

“It was per­fect tim­ing for me com­ing here last year. Coven­try were un­der new man­age­ment and I was ready for a lead role some­where else, so it’s great to have had the op­por­tu­nity to put some struc­tures in place and kick-start a Bees re­vival.

“We’re cre­at­ing a path­way for age grade play­ers into our se­nior teams to make this club sus­tain­able again.”

Hav­ing seen his side score 576 points at an av­er­age of 52 per game prior to yes­ter­day’s visit of Peter­bor­ough, Glackin added: “We’re start­ing to win back some of our lost sup­port and peo­ple are fol­low­ing us away in de­cent num­bers again.

“We’ve done noth­ing yet but we have am­bi­tions to get back to a higher level and are des­per­ate to suc­ceed.”

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