London Broncos’ six winter additions have settled into the squad quickly – despite COVID-19 restrictions preventing traditional team building activities.
The club signed centre Chris Hankinson, scrum-half Jarrod Sammut, wingers Ed Chamberlain and Abbas Miski, plus props Romain Navarrete and Titus Gwaze to boost the campaign.
The pandemic meant regular pre-season team building sessions away from the training ground to help teammates bond could not take place. However, the Broncos’ coaching staff have adapted training delivery to maximise team development opportunities.
Assistant Coach Jamie Langley explained: “Players at the Broncos have become great friends. Some are here away from their families up North or on the continent so our working relationship with players has, and always will be, strong.
“Our new players have blended in fantastically. I think we can all appreciate moving teams during a pandemic is not ideal, particularly when all social aspects of getting to know your new teammates are out of the question.
“We’re doing as much in training as possible to build those strong bonds and when it’s safe to do so we will encourage players to enjoy each other’s’ company away from the training ground by exploring the city.”
“The new lads have made a fantastic impression and slotted into the group with ease.”
The Broncos had eight weeks to prepare for this year’s Betfred Championship campaign with pre-season training commencing after Christmas.
Condensing a full pre-season schedule within that timeframe was always likely to be a challenge, but Langley knows team spirit in the squad is high despite a tough start to the campaign.
“You’ll run further for a friend than you will for a teammate,” said Langley. “Team cohesion is so important in any sport, there’s a lot of data to suggest the most cohesive teams are successful.
“Of course, niggles and injuries mean we have to rotate combinations both in training and for matches which means developing that strong cohesion can take time.
“But we’re halfway through a three-week break before we face Oldham and we’re using the time wisely while allowing injured players the best opportunity to be fit in time for the game while strengthening those off-field bonds.”
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