Sutton & Epsom are looking forward to the big time

Phoenix from the flames

Sutton & Epsom forwards coach Shawn Renwick, formerly of National Division One Esher, gets involved in training last week

Sutton & Epsom head coach Jeff Parsons

New backs coach: London Scottish scrum-half Lee Cholewa

First published in Sport Streatham Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Head coach Jeff Parsons has labelled a major overhaul at Sutton and Epsom – on and off the pitch – as vital to the club’s chances of a swift return to London Division One South.


Parsons’ men were relegated last term with the ignominious record of having conceded more than 1,000 points in the process of losing  all 26 of their London Division Two South West clashes.


The Rugby Lane outfit have added the services of former London Scottish scrum-half Lee Cholewa as backs coach and ex-Esher number eight Shawn Renwick as forwards chief to the new coaching set-up.


And Parsons, who has also recruited Steve Rowe as conditioning coach, admitted it is the sort of restructuring that could bring the glory days back.


“We have gone back to scratch to freshen everything up and get everyone switched on again,” he said.


“Everything got a little bit stale over the past few years with the boys running the same systems and moves. We’ve been bold and changed everything.


“It will take some time to settle, but we are determined to go straight back up.”


A youthful Sutton squad  could not prevent the drop last term with the side having tasted life in National Division Three London & South East less than five years ago.


Former head coach Martin Knights took the club from London Division Two South into the National League structure.


And lifelong Sutton member Parsons, who has retained the services of many of last season’s squad, reckoned the shake-up bore all the hallmarks of the set-up that brought success under the ex-Richmond coach.


“It would have been easy for a lot of people to walk away after a pretty depressing year,” added Parsons.


“But I’ve been at the club most of my life and I haven’t seen a rejuvenation like this since we were promoted out of League Two South about five years ago.”


Sutton & Epsom have two friendlies before the curtain raiser against Effingham & Leatherhead on September 15.


They host Crowborough on September 1 and East Grinstead on September 8.

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