North Bristol recruit Goodridge as part of their coaching team
NORTH Bristol have strengthened their off-field team by recruiting Jon Goodridge to work alongside head coach and fellow Bristol player Wayne Thompson.
Full-back Goodridge will focus primarily on back play, allowing former Bristol and Bath favourite Phil Cue to work with the Western Counties North side's kickers and skills on an individual basis.
There has also been one major on-field change with scrum-half Alex Cue being voted in as first-team captain. He succeeds inspirational lock Ross Wilson, who has stood down after four seasons.
Cue said: "It's a real honour to be leading the club, and it's great that Ross will still be around because he's been our most consistent player over the last three or four years. There are a few old heads here, but it's basically a young squad and, at 24, I'm one of the senior players. Last season was one of our best for a long time, thanks to a very good run in the RFU Cup, and there's a lot to build on."
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Thompson, a key member of Bristol's front-row union, is in agreement. He said: "I think we have moved forward season on season, the key is to keep progressing.
"At amateur level, that comes down to providing good-quality coaching and developing players and improving their skills on an individual basis.
"Feedback from the players has been very good, but we know that there is always room for improvement.
"It's great to now have Jon on board. We've been spending a lot of time talking about how we can move things on, and we're both looking forward to the new season."
North's first warm-up game for the new campaign will be away to St Mary's on August 11, while further matches will be scheduled against Thornbury and Avonmouth ahead of the opening league clash on September 1 at home to Bristol Harlequins.
On the horizon are first-ever league matches with newly-promoted Avon and Wells, as well as Combination derby dates with Old Bristolians.
North train at their Oaklands base, just off the A38 and adjacent to the M5 at Almondsbury, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6pm, new players welcome. For more details, visit www.northbristolrfc.co.uk.
Avonmouth host their third annual live music festival on Saturday.
Bands taking part include headliners The Emperials, BiPolar Bears, Basket Cases, Doin' Time, The Tone Devils and the Black Crash.
Gates at Barracks Lane open at noon with tickets priced £5 per person, or £10 for a family of four.