Walker out to make new memories
Alex Walker enjoyed a stellar first season with Ealing Trailfinders, but with pre-season for the club’s return to the Greene King IPA Championship well underway, Walker doesn’t want to think about the title-winning campaign anymore.
Ben Ward’s side will play in the Championship for the second time in their history having won the National 1 title with 136 points, nine more than their nearest rivals Rosslyn Park.
Walker won both the Supporters’ Player of the Year Award and Man of Steel last season, a season in which he played 28 matches and scored nine tries.
“For all the boys involved last year, that’s been and gone, ” he said. “It was a great year, but it is all about this coming season. It is a huge opportunity for us and we have plenty to prove.
“I want the same as boys want and that is to stay up. We want to compete, we don’t just want to make the numbers up and want to really push on and compete.”
Walker was one of the most experienced players in the side that won the National 1 title. He previously played in the Pro 12 and European Challenge Cup for Newport Gwent Dragons and Cardiff Blues and also gathered great experience after playing for the Welsh Sevens team.
Director of Coaching Ward has added players of a similar ilk for the Championship campaign, with players arriving with Premiership, Championship and Pro12 experience under their belts.
“There are a few of the boys who have come in who have played in the Championship and higher, ” Walker said. “That sort of experience is vital and I’m sure as the rugby sessions go on those guys will be speaking up and helping us push forward for next season.”
For the moment though Walker and the rest of the squad are busy at work in the gym and on the pitch readying themselves for the season to come.
It may be painful at times, especially the sessions on the watt bike or in the gym, but it is essential for the team to be in the best shape possible for the season ahead.
“It has been pretty good so far, ” Walker added. “There’s a lot going on with the new boys coming in and getting to grips with the general pattern we play. There’s a lot of rugby and a lot of conditioning, so we’re looking good.”