SWINDON College Old Boys head coach Jamie Barrett believes this season is all about consolidation for his side as they prepare for their opening fixture at home to Dorchester in Southern Counties South, writes SAM HILL.

Barrett was made head coach in the summer after Mark Lea had stepped down from his position at the end of last season and has made a number of changes since his appointment for the Nationwide-based club.

“This season is about stability for us and maintaining a good league position,” said Barrett.

“We want to ensure we are consistent in our performances, whilst giving all our players an opportunity to play and impress.

“We’ve changed the coaching team since I’ve arrived.

“Greig O’Brien has taken over as head backs coach, Ady Jones as forwards coach.

“Russ Trotman has come in as our first-team manager and video analyst, whilst Mark Williams has taken over as second-team manager.”

As well as new coaching staff, Barrett has recruited two new players during pre-season.

“We have had a few new signings this year – Harry Western and Macaulay Reynolds have joined from Supermarine,” he added.

“The key thing is that we have maintained our player base, which is very strong.

“We haven’t got any injuries in training, which is a real boost as we can select our strongest possible line-up for the opening match.

“We have a talented squad, so we have good competition for starting places and cover if we do pick-up any injuries.”

Despite Dorchester only being promoted into the Southern Counties South this season, Barrett is fully aware of the threat they could offer when his side come up against the south coast men.

“They’re newly promoted and will want to start the season off well, but we have the home advantage which will hopefully make a positive difference for us,” he added.

“We’ve worked very hard in pre-season, so we’ll look to utilise what we’ve worked on in training in the match on Saturday.

“Set-pieces will be key in the game so we’ll be looking to win clean balls and dominate the game on our terms.”

It’s week two of the South West One East season and Swindon, beaten by newcomers Marlborough at home last weekend, face a tough task as they travel to one of the title favourites Newbury Blues tomorrow.

Royal Wootton Bassett, thumping winners over Oxford Harlequins last Saturday, host Witney.