Former Wolfpack members set for Bury St Edmunds return this weekend
Performance director Terry Sands is looking forward to this weekend’s visit from title chasers Canterbury, with the added spice of the return of some well-known former players.
Sands said Sean Stapleton, Louis Whetton, Sam Sterling and Tristan King will be names recognisable to the Bury faithful from past seasons and will likely be in the line-up for this Saturday’s National League Two South fixture (3pm).
“They’re a strong side,” he said. “And have some players we couldn’t afford to keep over the summer. We don’t have the resources of some of the teams in this league, that’s just the way it is.
“But we’re happy with where we are right now and how the team are doing, they are starting to do very well.
“It will be a competitive one as there will be bragging rights on the table, they left in a good atmosphere so it’s just exciting.
“Wet conditions would suit them, but dry us, so we’ll have to see what happens.”
But they will be boosted, he said, by new Bury St Edmunds head coach Nick Wakley overseeing his first win in their last outing, as the Wolfpack beat basement side Birmingham & Solihull 33-17 on the road.
And they will have new scrum half Anton Limlei at their disposal, with Connor Adams sidelined for about 10 weeks, with multiple fractures to his ankle.
The Austrian international made his debut on Saturday, as a triallist, before being signed.
Wakley had watched as the side fell narrowly short at home to Clifton in his first game in charge; albeit collecting a losing bonus point the week earlier.
But he was able to help his new charges build on that performance, with the team returning to The Haberden with a winning bonus point victory in just their second time out together and will hope that development continues this weekend.
Performance director Terry Sands said: “It was great to see Nick get his first win in charge, and it was a really encouraging performance.
“No one expected him to come in and suddenly change it all around, but he has had an immediate impact, that’s brilliant to see.
“The team have bought into his vision straight away and the players are really enjoying the one-on-one feedback he’s been giving them.
“Cameron Ritchie (who was back in the side at fly half) has really benefited and he had a great game on Saturday.”
Bury cut the Bees apart in the first half, before putting in a determined defensive second half display to keep the home side at bay, despite being reduced to 13 men.
Captain Ollie Watson scored on his return, assisted by Ritchie with further scores for Tom Brown, Connor O’Reilly, Ben Leng and a winger’s try for prop Pat Robinson – running 30m to touchdown and complete the team’s first win since September 22.