Glasgow'S "Massive Step Forward"

Hugh Campbell, Glasgow's head coach, looks back on the past season with enthusiasm for the future. Victories against Llanelli, Connacht, and Glasgow's Scottish rivals stand out. So, too, does the growth of the Glasgow squad as a unit."Glasgow have taken a massive step forward this season in terms of results and league position," the coach remarked. Glasgow finished sixth in the Celtic League, the best placed of the three Scottish teams in that competition. As such, they will be Scotland's top seeds when the draw is made for next season's Heineken Cup.'that's equally true of the Glasgow players in terms of belief and confidence in each other and in their own ability," he added.'that was despite the fact that we were very badly disrupted pre-season for the initial matches. However, since October they"ve proved to be one of the most competitive teams in the Celtic League. That's been reflected in outstanding wins and the bonus points collected along the way." Glasgow's tally of 11 bonus points was unsurpassed in the league.Hugh highlighted the two big league victories against Llanelli, the 35-0 shut-out against Connacht, and the wins against The Borders (twice) and Edinburgh. Against Llanelli, last season's league champions, Glasgow won by 40-29 at Hughenden, with a four-try bonus in the bag by half-time, and they followed up with a startling 57-30 victory at Stradey Park.Hugh was particularly enthusiastic about the victories against Llanelli. 'to clock up 97 points in those two fixtures demonstrated the ability this team possesses," he observed.Glasgow's record in Europe was less impressive, defeats in all six matches - home and away against Toulouse, Llanelli, and Northampton. "It was a tough group including Toulouse, the eventual finalists," he pointed out. 'the results were disappointing. But they"ve gained good experience from that involvement, and we"ll put it to good use in next season's tournament wherever we play."Hugh paid a special compliment to Mark Bitcon, who joined Glasgow last summer as fitness coach from Wasps. "Mark has made a difference to the physicality of the squad," the coach remarked.A couple of Glasgow players, Sean Lamont and his young brother, Rory, have stepped up to Scotland's team in the past year. That was a point that Hugh acknowledged as well as complimenting Jon Petrie as a leader in the Glasgow ranks. The coach also highlighted how Dan Parks is "now established as an international No.10."Hugh also commented the progress of others among his players. 'scott Lawson is pushing for international recognition," the coach suggested, "and Donnie Macfadyen, but for injury, could have been one of the few Scots in the Lions" party for the New Zealand tour."It was also pleasing for the coach to see young Scottish players coming through into the squad. He pointed out how John Beattie, Steve Swindall, Colin Shaw, Fergus Thomson, and Ben Prescott have stepped to sign full-time contracts in the past month."It's a very competitive tournament the Celtic League," Hugh said in summary for the season. 'teams now have to take us seriously. We"ve earned the respect of all of them. None will underestimate us now. We have plenty for spectators to enthuse about - attractive rugby, attacking rugby, exciting rugby."Hugh Campbell, Glasgow's head coach, looks back on the past season with enthusiasm for the future. Victories against Llanelli, Connacht, and Glasgow's Scottish rivals stand out. So, too, does the growth of the Glasgow squad as a unit."Glasgow have taken a massive step forward this season in terms of results and league position," the coach remarked. Glasgow finished sixth in the Celtic League, the best placed of the three Scottish teams in that competition. As such, they will be Scotland's top seeds when the draw is made for next season's Heineken Cup.'that's equally true of the Glasgow players in terms of belief and confidence in each other and in their own ability," he added.'that was despite the fact that we were very badly disrupted pre-season for the initial matches. However, since October they"ve proved to be one of the most competitive teams in the Celtic League. That's been reflected in outstanding wins and the bonus points collected along the way." Glasgow's tally of 11 bonus points was unsurpassed in the league.Hugh highlighted the two big league victories against Llanelli, the 35-0 shut-out against Connacht, and the wins against The Borders (twice) and Edinburgh. Against Llanelli, last season's league champions, Glasgow won by 40-29 at Hughenden, with a four-try bonus in the bag by half-time, and they followed up with a startling 57-30 victory at Stradey Park.Hugh was particularly enthusiastic about the victories against Llanelli. 'to clock up 97 points in those two fixtures demonstrated the ability this team possesses," he observed.Glasgow's record in Europe was less impressive, defeats in all six matches - home and away against Toulouse, Llanelli, and Northampton. "It was a tough group including Toulouse, the eventual finalists," he pointed out. 'the results were disappointing. But they"ve gained good experience from that involvement, and we"ll put it to good use in next season's tournament wherever we play."Hugh paid a special compliment to Mark Bitcon, who joined Glasgow last summer as fitness coach from Wasps. "Mark has made a difference to the physicality of the squad," the coach remarked.A couple of Glasgow players, Sean Lamont and his young brother, Rory, have stepped up to Scotland's team in the past year. That was a point that Hugh acknowledged as well as complimenting Jon Petrie as a leader in the Glasgow ranks. The coach also highlighted how Dan Parks is "now established as an international No.10."Hugh also commented the progress of others among his players. 'scott Lawson is pushing for international recognition," the coach suggested, "and Donnie Macfadyen, but for injury, could have been one of the few Scots in the Lions" party for the New Zealand tour."It was also pleasing for the coach to see young Scottish players coming through into the squad. He pointed out how John Beattie, Steve Swindall, Colin Shaw, Fergus Thomson, and Ben Prescott have stepped to sign full-time contracts in the past month."It's a very competitive tournament the Celtic League," Hugh said in summary for the season. 'teams now have to take us seriously. We"ve earned the respect of all of them. None will underestimate us now. We have plenty for spectators to enthuse about - attractive rugby, attacking rugby, exciting rugby."