“We’re fully geared towards next year now” – Gloucestershire Gladiators captain Josh Ricketts on return to play

Recent announcements from BAFA (British American Football Association) and the University Of Gloucestershire Student Union have confirmed that a summer return to action may be possible.

Current club captain of the Gloucestershire Gladiators Josh Ricketts says the club would rather count their chickens after they’ve hatched at this point, despite being given the green-light to resume training from March 29.

“We’re excited to play again but we’d rather more details would be released before we get carried away.

“All we have been given is a provisional date from the SU, with the BAFA return to play plan being the deciding factor but that hasn’t been released yet. Hopefully, it’ll be more like the RFU’s road map rather than what we had last time.

“The guidance they’ve given us allows us to train from the March 29, so from that point we’re hoping to receive more information.”

Situated in Division 2 South West of BUCS American football league system, Gloucestershire would be pitted against regular opponents such as Bath Spa, Worcester and Oxford should the season start fully.

Ricketts insists that preparations at this point are aimed far into the distance however.

“We’ll probably be able to get one game in before the end of this season depending on the return to play, I think it’s more towards preparations for the future now.

“We’re all more geared towards next year now given the circumstances of how this year has unfolded.

“It’s been a lot more challenging than last year from an outside perspective.

“I wasn’t involved as much with committee and the day-to-day management of the club but there is no question in my mind how challenging this year has been.”

A lack of players and consistent management had left the team in dire straits heading into the last two seasons. A string of former players joining the ranks had given the team hope of much improved on-field results coming into the new season.

Hampshire native Ricketts agrees that despite all the odds, this season could have been one to remember.

“It was looking fun, there were more players in the squad, more players were able to just play their preferred position rather than last year where some of us had to learn four different position.

“It looked like we were going to be a lot more competitive especially looking at how quickly people were progressing with the restrictions in place.

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