HEAD coach Nick Walshe says there is more to come from the Coventry Rugby squad and is determined that they will make their mark in next season’s Greene King IPA Championship.
Saturday’s 55-12 win at Caldy clinched the National League One title and a return to the second tier of English rugby after an absence of eight years.
“It’s absolutely brilliant,” said Walshe. “And I think the thing that pleases me most is that we’ve done it with five games to go.
“We’ve done it emphatically and that’s just amazing.”
Cov have been rewriting the club’s record book as every game goes by in recent weeks and currently lead the table by a whopping margin of 31 points.
“What I love about these boys is that whatever I ask them, whatever we ask them, they do,” said Walshe.
“We’ve had one slip up this year, but I think that was always going to happen. They’re only human beings and a lot of these boys haven’t been in a situation like this before where they’ve been so dominant so it’s been a massive learning curve.
“I’m just very proud of them all.
“I can see a lot of improvement in the players. There’s a lot of guys who have stood up as National One players, but I really feel a lot of them are now Championship players in the making and that’s really pleasing as a coach.
“I know we’ll get better. We’re going up to the Championship and I’ll make sure that we’re competitive and that Coventry are not just going to be making up the numbers next year.
“It may be bullish, but I want to make sure that these boys know that when we are up there we have to be a competitive outfit.
“The boys can enjoy the occasion for now, but I’ll be on their backs on Tuesday because it’s important how we finish the rest of the season.
“We’ve got a massive game at Plymouth this weekend. Forget the league, this is about personal pride and I don’t want us to go down there and perform poorly.
“We want to beat them – it will be really tough because they’re a good side at home and have got an unbeaten record there, but we’ll prepare for it thoroughly and we’ll enjoy it.”
On a personal note, Walshe ranks winning the National League One title as highly as anything else he has achieved as a coach.
“When you start coaching it’s very different to playing, and I always knew coaching would be a challenge because you’ve got so many people to look after, manage, motivate and everything.
“I’ve had some quite good success in my coaching, I’ve won two Junior World Cups and I’ve won a trophy at Gloucester, but I think this is up there with all that – it’s a whole league season, and it’s just the way that we’ve done it.”