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Gordonians remaining positive despite relegation to National 3

Gordonians coach Jim Greenwood
Gordonians coach Jim Greenwood

Gordonians head coach Jim Greenwood insists the mood at Countesswells remains positive despite their relegation to National 3.

A heavy defeat to Newton Stewart last weekend confirmed they would drop down a level but Greenwood has seen enough signs of progress this season.

Gordonians have two games remaining, starting with Falkirk at home on Saturday before rounding off the campaign with an away trip to Whitecraigs.

“I’ve had some chats with the boys and they are positive,” said Greenwood. “They know the club has made strides forward and are keen to build on that and bounce back next season.

“The pressure is off now and we want to put in a performance that’s worthy of the effort we’ve put in during training this year. It’s important we send Falkirk packing.

Jim Greenwood
Jim Greenwood

“It’s an unbelievable league and there’s very little between each team. In most leagues if you got to 40 points you would be safe.

“We were probably not accurate enough in the first half of the season and didn’t take away any points from some games. Just picking up a point here or there would have seen us in a different position.”

A run of one win in their last six games saw Gordonians drop into trouble, a run not helped by player shortages caused by injuries, Covid and work commitments.

But there have also been lessons learned from their performances too, with a more pragmatic approach perhaps needed going forward.

“Set-pieces and playing in the right areas of the pitch are crucial at this level,” said Greenwood. “We’ve played a little bit too much in our own half this season.

“While I want to encourage players to play, you need to have the accuracy to back that up. You can’t give the opposition a platform to attack in your own half.

“If you look at the average age of our squad, these guys want to play running rugby and score tries quickly. That’s not really what our sport looks like now unfortunately.

“Defences are tight and you have to manipulate that to create opportunities to attack.”

Andrew McLean (10) in action for Gordonians
Andrew McLean (10) in action for Gordonians

Greenwood is keen to develop the pathways for young players at Robert Gordon’s College and encourage them to step on with their careers.

Callum Stephen has been playing academy rugby at GHA and back Andrew McLean is away with Scotland under-18s in the Six Nations.

“The link between the school and the club needs to remain strong,” added Greenwood. “We also have to be willing to let guys go when it’s time for them to move on.

“Has it hurt us being without these guys? Probably. But was it the right decision? 100 per cent.”

Despite relegation, it has been an enjoyable first full season in charge for Greenwood, who doubles as rugby coach at RGC.

“I absolutely love this club,” he said. “They’ve got strong values and it reminds me of the club I was brought up in.

“Getting the culture right was an awesome challenge and guys have bought into it. Ultimately we didn’t get it right with the first-team but we’re coaching the great game.

“If you’re not enjoying that then you’re probably in the wrong job.”

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