Birtwell confident of title challenge as he eyes improvement

Bob Birtwell wants Sedgley Park to use their strong performances in big matches last season as a platform to challenge for the title next season.

The forward, who represented England Counties in Spain in May, only played the final two months of the last campaign due to injury but still helped Sedge finish fourth in 2016/17.

But while Birtwell thinks a top four finish in National Two North was still a good achievement for the Tigers, the lock feels he and his teammates – along with new Head Coach Matt Bebbington – can achieve more in the coming campaign.

“Fourth is still a strong finish in the table, but considering we were second the year before, we should have achieved that again. It wasn’t an unrealistic target to have,” the Lancashire player told the club’s website.

“We do have the ability to beat any team on our day. Just look at our results against Caldy. We have some class players and we just need that belief.

“I think we do need to improve our consistency but also our mind-set. We seem to switch off at certain times in the year and we seem more up for the big games then some of the other fixtures during the season and that is something Bebbs has already eluded too.

“Caldy lost to us on the opening day of the season, but from there they just kept winning and made it a habit where as we never really got into that rhythm. We have the players to challenge for the title this year and I confident we can do that.”

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