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Bishop's Stortford ready for a big pre-season ahead of third National League 1 season, says Andy Long

By Michael Vaughton

Andy Long believes Bishop's Stortford could be even more dangerous opponents for their rivals in their third National League 1 campaign.

The director of rugby saw his side win nine of their last 13 matches to propel themselves from the bottom of the table in January to a ninth-place finish.

They amassed only six points fewer than 2017-18, when they came seventh, despite their poor start, as well as scoring more and conceding fewer points on the pitch.

Long expects the challenge to get tougher next term with Richmond coming down from the Championship and 2S champions Rams, 2N top dogs Hull Ionians and play-off winners Canterbury coming up, but he is relishing the task.

Andy Long. Picture: Vikki Lince
Andy Long. Picture: Vikki Lince

"We feel we deserve to be in this league with the performances we've put in. We've beaten nearly every team in the league now," said Long.

"We shouldn't be fearing these sides, but we also know we need to always be at our best. If you become complacent and think you've nailed it then you can quickly go on a losing streak of three or four games.

"It's not going to get any easier, and having to bed in the players we're going to bring in means we've got a big pre-season ahead of us.

"I think we're only going to get more dangerous next season. We know there are areas we need to look at and the boys need to have a break, get refreshed and come back excited and ready for the next challenge."

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