Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Welcome to Bath Micky Young!

One of the new boys drafted into Bath this season by Gary Gold is ex Falcons, Tigers and Sevens player Micky Young.

A traditional scrum half who is small, nippy and delivers good distribution of the ball. He is also well know for having a little bit of a firey temperament and plays with full commitment. With training alongside a legendary scrum half in the form of Peter Stringer it can only help improve his already growing talent.

I believe the 'mighty' Micky young could be an inspired acquisition made by Bath. And I was lucky enough to speak to him last week on the phone calling from France as he was waiting to take on his old club Falcons in their 21-21 draw.

Welcome to Bath! You've been here for a few weeks now, how are you settling in to the club?

Been down here now for a few months and really settling in, there's a great group of lads here and the city is great. The set up at Bath is really good and I can't wait to get out on the pitch.

With you and George ford signing at the same time has it made it easier to join a new club with a fellow team-mate? Plus the added bonus of having Biggsy there as you have both shared a lot of history playing together.

It does help having others around you that you know and have played with, but all the guys here have made it such an easy move.

What lead to you making the decision to leave Tigers for Bath?

Looking at the direction Bath are looking to go I felt it is a positive move, a chance of first team rugby and help take them back up the table made it a positive move for me.

Having Ben youngs as the first choice scrum half at tigers was it getting frustrating with the lack of first team starts.

Team selections and injuries did make the two years there frustrating, I like to play so on the bench isn't where I wanted to be.

There's a great set up at Farleigh how's the training going? Is there much difference between Bath, Tigers or Falcons in the facilities?

Farleigh is just an incredible place, the facilities are just incredible. The other two clubs are not even close to Bath's training facilities.

How has the training regime been so far?

Hard and intense but delivering good results and bringing a good squad of guys together.

Was Poland really as much fun as you guys made it out to be?

We did have a good time out there, it was incredibly hard work and some of the hardest I've worked but a great bonding time.

On your return from Poland you made the trip back to your motherland of Hartlepool, I understand that you family is very important to you is it going to be hard living so far away from them?

We're lucky we live in a small country so they can travel down. They come to all my games to give their support. It great having them at the games.
I'm loving the city itself and settling nicely, really is a great place.

Your brother Christopher plays for west Hartlepool has there ever been any competition between you as brothers? Obviously him being a flanker it's difficult to make comparisons but surely there has to be a little brotherly rivalry?

Rugby wise there isn't any competition as he's taken another route, he's followed through doing his uni work as I've concentrated on rugby. There is a brotherly rivalry in different aspects of our lives, as brothers do, but generally we do support each other in what we do.

You've had a little experience wearing the red rose of England with the Saxons and of coarse the sevens are you hoping the move to Bath will help you move towards a potential EPS call up one day?

Every player dreams of playing for their country and England would be a dream. At the moment I just want to play for the club and repay them for bringing me in. I just want to do my job and hopefully see Bath do well, at the moment that's all I'm concentrating on.

You managed some good success with the sevens notably scoring the winning try at Twickenham in 2009, I was lucky enough to be there, would you crown that as your greatest moment in the sevens shirt?

Without doubt!! To score the winning try at Twickenham against the All Blacks is a dream. It was over in a flash though, wished the moment had lasted longer it all seemed like a dream!

Ben Ryan recently stepping down as the sevens coach came a shock he helped bring the game forward in England, how much of an inspiration was he to you personally?

Banji really was great and helped and encouraged me, generally a really great guy and done wonders for sevens and me. It was a great to be in the set up and Banji did a really good job of running it. He supported a drove all the boys on.

Do you think he will be missed or do you think he's developed a good set up for his successor to help drive them on?

Banji will be missed but the set up he has helped to create has seen a great group of lads come together and the next coach should be able to follow on in his work, possibly taking them on further.

Banter has always been a big part of rugby and there seems to be a good element of banter and camaraderie at Bath, how are you finding it and who is the biggest joker in the squad?

There is a lot that goes on between the boys, to be honest there's a big list here. The two that stand out for me is obviously Biggsy who has always been a joker, and also one of the guys leading the pack is Kano.

With Bath's first premiership game being against Newcastle will it be good to run out at Kingston park again if only for the opposing team?

It would be great to run out at Kingston park again it holds great memories for me. Last time I was there was with Tigers and I was on the bench, would love to get back out there and play and enjoy that atmosphere.

Your first potential outing at the Rec is against Tigers, it's always good to see Bath beat Tigers but for you does it hold a more poignant moment for you first home game wearing a Bath shirt?

For me is first of all to get picked, that's the main aim at the moment. I can't wait to get out onto the Rec and play in front of the home crowd, it's an amazing place and love the family feeling there. I want to play that's really what I want to do, play well and repay the club for believing in me.
I do know that for the Bath fans to beat Tigers at home is a great thing, just hope I can help do that.

Big thanks Micky and really hope it goes well for you, thanks for taking time out to speak to me.

A big thanks to Bath and David Flatman for organising the interview lets hope for a good season for Bath and Micky as well.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Who will lead the Blue, Black and White army into battle?

Not sure if you're aware yet but the start of the Aviva Premiership is almost upon us! It's been kept quite low key with very little build up.

The jigsaw for Bath Rugby is so nearly complete for the impending season.
New signing's- check, list of fixtures- check, new kit- check, club captain- still on the to-do list.
So who will be this season man to guide the storming band of men in Blue, Black and White onto the battlefield this season?

This season I feel Bath actually have an abundance of players that can take that role, a first time for many seasons. After two unlucky seasons for Stuart Hooper, injuries certainly plaguing his tenure, will Gary Gold will select a new General?

With this question in mind I thought I'd throw it out on Twitter to see who the fans would elect as the club captain, armed with a few suggestions I awaited their views. Suggestions of François Louw, Matt Banahan, Nick Abendanon, Stuart Hooper, Rob Webber or any other suggested players.

The Bath faithful as always were happy to voice their options and reasonings behind their selections. From the list came two big forerunners and one suggestion I'd not put in my original line up. Between the three supporters captain elect came in the form of Webber, Louw and Attwood. Three players who had phenomenal seasons for Bath and always played with 100%, but what are their credentials for becoming the captain to lead Bath?

Dave Attwood after two strong seasons at Bath he's enjoying a resurgence in form which has seen him enjoy a recall to the England squad, a solid tour of Argentina has seen Stuart Lancaster select him for the EPS for the autumn internationals. A regular starter now for Bath and a player who plays with such intensity, passion and skill could he be the chosen one?

François Louw an absolute class player, no world class player! Picked for the Bok's for the upcoming rugby championship many consider him as the best at his position in the world at this time. So solid and dependable for Bath and also captained them on many occasion, leading by example on the pitch and now with his 'long term" contract extension is more proof to the commitment of the club his has. A firm fans favourite Louw is a strong candidate for the appointment.

Rob Webber signed for Bath with a shoulder injury the Bath supporters were desperate to see him don the Bath shirt and show us what he was made off, and when he did there was no disappointment. The second half if the season saw him become a dominant force in the Bath pack. Having already captained Wasps and now England stands him in strong stead for the captaincy, and with a omission (not sure why) from the England set up Webber has a lot more availability to concentrate on Bath.

The point of international absentees for Louw and Attwood have been raised as issues for their potential role as captain, and for Attwood the question of is he ready to hold the leaders job.
There is the possibility of an international call up for Webber should he continue in his current form and an injury for the current hooker's in the England set up.

My personal choice for the job is with Webber, Louw is for many but I just feel Webber edges him.
No matter who your choice is it's refreshing for Gary Gold to have such a wide choice.

We now have to wait to see if Gold has the same opinion as you and slots in the remaining piece of the jigsaw.