'Moody' Doncaster Knights boss keeps players' feet firmly on the floor at Castle Park
Head coach Steve Boden admits Doncaster Knights will have to take things up another notch if they are to repeat last season’s third place finish in the Greene King IPA Championship.
Only promoted Saracens and big-spending Ealing Trailfinders finished the shortened 2020/21 campaign above Doncaster in the table.
It was Knights’ highest league placing since 2016 and halted the club’s gradual downward spiral which culminated in tenth place finishes in 2019 and 2020.
However, as preparations for the new season intensify, Boden says no one at Knights can afford to get complacent.
Speaking on the Championship Clubs Podcast, Boden said: "We're fully aware [of the situation]. I'm a moody Yorkshireman anyway but my mindset is to not get too far ahead of yourself. You've got to keep your feet on the ground.
“We finished third and it was an unbelievable achievement for the club.
“But there were three or four games which we won by a score and we all know they can go the opposite way very easily, by a decision from a referee or a bounce of the ball.
“We're fully aware that to try and get anywhere near where we finished this year again we're going to have to work extremely hard and be even better next year.”
Boden said that reducing the average age of the squad had paid dividends and also reserved praise for coaches Joe Ford and Nathan Smith.
"The boys showed a lot of resilience and never went off task or panicked,” said Boden.
“Some of those games we could've quite easily chased or tried to do something differently but they stuck to the task, and that's credit to some of the coaching staff as well.
"Joe Ford and Nathan Smith did a great job in working with the players on that.
“I think it comes down to having that hunger and desire and having that younger age demographic definitely helped us scrape over the line in those games.”