Plymouth Albion boss James Shanahan targets top six finish

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
James Shanahan
Shanahan has brought in 10 new forwards since the end of last season

Plymouth Albion boss James Shanahan says he is targeting a top-six finish in the Championship next season.

The Albion boss is beginning his second season in charge at the Brickfields and has brought in 19 new signings, including

Albion finished eighth last season, winning six of their 23 matches.

"If we can get 10 wins, which would be a target for me, we should be able to finish in the top six," Shanahan told BBC Sport.

"I want us to improve the set-piece area, if we improve the set-piece area I still feel our game, through hard work, will be better," added Shanahan, who has also appointed former England prop Darren Crompton as a scrum coach on a part-time basis.

"Defensively we have to be better but I think that comes on with our set piece being stronger.

"But the first goal will be getting 19 new players and a new coach integrated with the rest of the players from last year so that when we start at the beginning of September were there or thereabouts with where we want to be."

And Shanahan says he would like to emulate Rotherham, who surprisingly finished fourth last season to make the Championship play-offs.

"Worcester and Bristol are going to be in the top four, if they're not then there's something seriously wrong. and it means there's 10 teams looking at those other two spaces," he added.

"You have to say straight away Leeds and Rotherham are going to be in there because they were this year, and London Scottish are making some very good signings.

"Ideally I'd like us to be the Rotherham of next year, they were a surprise package, a breath of fresh air and massive credit to Lee Blackett and his coaching staff and his players.

"I'd like us to be that next year but it'll take a lot of hard work, but it's something I'm willing to do and the players I've got are willing to do."