Doncaster Knights moving in the right direction - Dougie Flockhart
Dougie Flockhart is convinced the future is bright at Doncaster Knights.
And the club’s all-time record points scorer says he can see similarities between Steve Boden’s current side and the one that won National One in 2014 and two years later gave Bristol a big scare in the Championship play-off final.
Flockhart, 36, announced his retirement from playing earlier this year to concentrate on his role as Knights’ head of strength and conditioning.
In an interview with DKTV reflecting on his ten years at Castle Park, Flockhart said Knights’ progression was ‘clear to see’ and he has high hopes for the current side who have started the shortened Greene King IPA Championship season with six wins from seven games.
"When I arrived we signed pretty much a new team, it was a pretty young team – similar to what we’ve got this year actually,” he said.
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“We had big ambitions and we’ve been up, we’ve been down and we’ve re-done that team about three or four times since I’ve been here.
“I think every year it’s been added to and the club has just grown and grown.
“I think we’ve seen some really quality players come in for this season and it’s similar to when I started and to when we’ve rebuilt the squad before.
“When I started there was an academy here, lots of things pushing on for the future, lots of plans, and I feel like this has re-started again. The stuff done by the former players, the coaching staff, they’re all hungry and ready to achieve things again.
“I think we’ve got a really bright future ahead and everything that has been put in place is going to propel us forward.
“I remember playing here when there was no stand and it’s just built and built and built every year.
“We’ve had ups and downs but our progression is clear to see. We’ve progressed to become the best side in Yorkshire and we’re one of the best sides in the second tier of the leagues.”
Knights had to dig deep in tight victories over Ampthill, Coventry and Cornish Pirates and Flockhart has earned praise for getting the squad into shape in difficult circumstances.
“I’m really the enjoying the role and the time off for Covid gave me a chance to focus on it and get my head round not playing,” he said.
“This is one of the best squads I’ve worked with from a strength and conditioning point of view.
“There’s lots of young players and they’re all really looking to push on and all the coaches are on board with it too.
“Strength and conditioning-wise we’ve also had lots of challenges but I’ve actually really enjoyed it.
“This is my tenth year in the role and it’s a very unusual year and I’ve spoken to coaches all over, different players, different Premiership clubs and we’ve put together a really good strength and conditioning programme along with a good rugby programme to bring the players on.
“These players remind me of the squad that we signed years ago and also the second time we rebuilt the squad when we were in National One. It reminds me of the hunger that they had and hopefully they can go on to be as successful as we were.”
*Knights host Bedford Blues on Sunday (1pm).