SCOTT BARLOW admitted it was a proud moment to be named Worthing Raiders Rugby Club’s captain for next season.
The 31-year-old second row has been with Raiders for the last three seasons, after previously playing for Bognor and Chichester, where he was captain.
Barlow replaces Rob Smith, who will not be available every game next season, and he said: “It was a proud moment when Kieron (Dawson; head coach) asked me to be captain as it wasn’t something I expected.
“Next season will be my fourth with the club and I’ve had a brilliant time here. It’s been good to play with such good players and I’ve really enjoyed my time here.
“We want to get promoted next season now. We picked up good results at the end of the season and we’ll have new players coming in to strengthen us.
“Obviously, we’ll want to win the league but, if we end up in the play-offs, then you still have that chance of promotion.”
Barlow felt the first seven games of last season proved costly for Raiders as they finished fifth in National 2 South – 12 points behind second-placed Bishop’s Stortford and a further nine behind champions Henley Hawks.
He said: “We definitely underachieved. We didn’t have the best of results in the first seven games and that probably cost us.
“I think it’s for the best that we didn’t go up, though. Next season, we can rebuild and look to get promoted.”
Barlow, who captained Raiders in a couple of games during their season in National 1, admitted that is the standard of rugby that Worthing want to play and said: “The season we played in National 1 was brilliant.
“We played at good grounds and played against such good players. It really tests you but it makes you a better player as well.
“It’s so competitive and there wasn’t an easy game as every match went down to the wire.
“That’s 100 per cent where we want to be playing. We had a sniff of it and now want to play there again.”
Dawson added: “Rob isn’t going to be available so much next season, with work and family commitments, so Scott is going to take over as captain.
“He was great last season and he’s one of those players who doesn’t say much but when he does speak, everyone listens.”