May 29, 2013
Barrell says Blues have nothing to lose
Saracens Academy Manager Don Barrell will again be one of six Saracens representatives that will be involved in Bedford Blues’ promotion push tonight, when the Blues face Newcastle in the second leg of the Championship play-off final.
The Blues travel to Newcastle this evening hoping to turn around a nine point deficit in their attempt to reach the Aviva Premiership, and the bruising back row forward, who is still sporting a few stiches in the forehead from last Thursday’s encounter with the Falcons, believes Bedford now “have nothing to lose”;
“I suppose going into the game we would have liked the result to have been a bit tighter than maybe it was,” lamented Barrell.
“We had opportunities during the first leg but a margin of nine points is by no means an insurmountable lead. It puts us in a position now where we can go up to Kingston Park with nothing to lose, and we all know that we have to leave everything out there on the field tonight.
“We will go out there and play with the ball in hand, like we have done all season.”
Barrell left Saracens in a playing capacity in 2010, after seven years with the club to continue his playing career with the Blues. He has combined his playing career with his position as Saracens Academy Manager, helping bring through the likes of current Bedford teammates Ben Ransom and Scott Spurling amongst others.
And Barrell believes his involvement with some of Saracens’ younger squad members at Bedford Blues provides him with a “unique insight” into their development.
“I am really enjoying my time with Bedford. Getting to play with the lads who I work with in my role as Saracens Academy Manager is a fantastic experience, and it provides me with an almost ‘unique’ insight into how well equipped some of these talented young players are for the rigours of senior rugby.
“To see the likes of Ben Ransom deliver quality performances on a consistent basis whilst playing for the Blues is great, his development has been aided by the opportunity to play regular rugby.
“Scott Spurling is another who has had the opportunity to come to Goldington Road and develop as player, and although he has had his frustrations this season due to injury, it has provided Scott with the exposure he needs, and it has been great preparation for him in terms of his involvement with England Under 20s this summer.
“The relationship between Bedford and Saracens has been great and has benefitted both clubs. It has played a massive role in the lad’s careers thus far, and it’s great to witness the development they have made whilst playing regular rugby in what is tough and testing competition.”