By Harsha Amarasinghe
Colombo, Dec. 5 (Daily Mirror) - Army Sports Club has had a campaign to forget in the previous Inter-Club season and they had a disastrous start to the ongoing League Tournament when they were hammered by CR and FC in the opening match 55-8.
However, Head Coach Shamly Nawaz is confident that his senior star player Sudaraka Dikkumbura could help them turn the season around.
"Dikkumbura has been shuffled around all over the backline in the last few seasons but this year my plan is to play him in full back position mostly and maybe wing three quarter as well.”
“He has been our finisher in the previous seasons, so we are expecting him to bring all his experience into play and ensure that the team benefits from all that," Nawaz told the Daily Mirror.
Army SC were only able to manage a bottom-half finish last season which was a huge disappointment for the team given the quality of players they have. Nawaz believes that the defeats were down to the lack of game knowledge.
"Our main focus this year for Army SC is to improve their game knowledge and basic skills, which is very important and we have already started working on it.”
“One of the challenges we face is that most of our players haven't played school rugby at top level which is why the game knowledge hasn't been at the levels we intended to. But we are now working on that and hopefully, the boys will be able to put up a good fight this season," added the former Sri Lanka Number Eight.
Army SC is captained by fly half Ashan Bandara this season with Nalaka Maduranga being the Vice-Captain. They have got a few new players coming into their squad following their outstanding performances in the Inter-Division Rugby Tournament.
"We have got some good players joining the team after the Inter-Division Tournament. We have prop Chameera, Number Eight Jayawickrama. Apart from that, we have also got some good young players coming through which is a good sign," the former Isipathana College Captain added.
Nawaz said that his team's main target this season is to try and finish in the top four.
"From what happened last season I think it's very important for us to improve the squad and the skill levels of the players. We hope to play some good entertaining rugby and ensure the crowds enjoy the games. We will try our level best to finish in the top four this season," Nawaz concluded.