EVESHAM RFC head coach Gary Diston believes his players can put a miserable season behind them when they kick-off their Midlands Three West (South) campaign on Saturday.

The Albert Road side only avoided relegation from the division because of another team’s withdrawal from the league, and ended last season with 16 defeats from 20 matches, including a 61-8 final-day drubbing to this weekend’s opponents Pinley.

Diston remains upbeat, however, insisting that the host of new signings and players who have returned from university this year can bolster Evesham’s fortunes this time around.

“Last season’s defeat won’t be on our minds this weekend,”

Diston said.

“We had a lot of players missing for that game and with the players we have brought in for this season we are in much better shape for the coming campaign.”

Former Dudley Kingswinford centre Carl Robinson joins Tom Callow, Josh Greatrix and Ben Dzickaniece in a new-look Evesham squad, with four more recruits expected soon.

Diston is more than happy with the way the squad has come together during the summer.

“Preparations have been much healthier this year. We’ve played some good stuff and have looked sharp in friendly matches,”

he said.

“There’s a completely different atmosphere in the camp now — all of us have put last season’s disappointments behind us.

“We’ve set ourselves a target of finishing around mid-table to fourth place this season, and I think that’s an ambition that we can definitely achieve.”

  • Pershore kick-off their Midlands Three West (South) campaign at home to Kings Norton on Saturday (3pm) looking to rebuild after the disappointment of relegation.

The Piddle Park outfit notched up just three victories from their 22 league matches in the Midlands Two West (South) last season as their inferior points difference saw them demoted.

Manager Toby Grace said: “Right now I think if we manage to finish in mid-table that would be a good achievement for us.”