RUGBY: Martin takes the Bassett reins

New Wootton Bassett skipper David Martin

New Wootton Bassett skipper David Martin

First published in Sport

DAVID Martin is the new captain of Wootton Bassett after Nick Parker opted to relinquish the reins at the Ballard’s Ash club, writes SAM MORSHEAD.

Parker was voted in as skipper in the summer following Gary Williamson’s defection to Swindon but has since found it tricky to juggle other commitments with his responsibilities as captain and subsequently decided to stand aside last week.

The position was offered to Martin who, as one of the more senior members of the first-team squad, seemed a natural choice and the centre will lead Bassett for the first time as full-time skipper in the Southern Counties South clash with Devizes this weekend.

As it stands, Martin will keep charge until the end of the season, but come May he hopes to be in a position to take on the role for the foreseeable future.

“I’m one of the senior players by age and years being around the club and, to be fair, there are other senior players who would be candidates but I think they’ve got other commitments as well so I think I was viewed as being in the best position to take on the role this year.

“I’d envisage that, if it goes well this year, I’d continue in the role. We need some consistency, obviously it’s a transitional time for the club in terms of location and facilities and I think we need as much consistency as we can get for the playing base.

“We’ve got an excellent second-team captain in Owen Richardson and I want to emulate the success that he’s had with the second team. We need to get some of their team spirit because they’ve played really well this year.

“The captaincy was thrust upon Nick at the start of this season having lost the captain from the previous year. It was obviously a disruptive time. Nick in his role as vice captain therefore stepped up into the captaincy role.

“We did have a vote so he was voted in but with injuries and personal commitments he’s found it a difficult task. He feels it’s not the best example to set and he can’t fulfil the role so he’s stepped down.”

Leading by example is the primary principle on which Martin intends to base his time as Bassett captain, as he encourages teammates and members to get involved in all aspects of the running of the club.

“I envisage myself being a club captain,” he said. “I’ve got family roots at the club, I’m friendly with all the members of the committee.

“Some players just want to be a captain on the field but I’ll do my best to embrace the other roles of being a captain because, in a small club particularly, you have to wear a few hats sometimes.

“I think that, in a club made of volunteers as well, you can’t rely on everyone else to step up.

“It’s very much about leading by example and that’s not from experience, that’s advice I’ve had from other people. I think leading by example is going to be the only way to move things forward.”

MORE RUGBY REPORT & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD

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