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Rugby: Bournemouth held back by amateur status insists Pountney
DIRECTOR of rugby Budge Pountney warned that Bournemouth's path to progress would be bumpy unless the club escape the shackles of their amateur status.
Pountney's comments came on the back of Lions' first home defeat this season after a second-half flurry of scoring saw Hartpury College leave Chapel Gate with a comfortable 50-12 victory.
The ex-Scotland captain, who has presided over four bonus-point victories on home soil since his summer arrival, admitted his charges could simply not sustain the same performance levels as their Gloucestershire counterparts for 80 minutes.
And despite heightened expectations following their stellar start to the campaign, Pountney insisted the Dorset club would continue to be hampered until their off-field progress matched their sporting success.
Assessing Bournemouth's position, Pountney told the Daily Echo: “It is very difficult when you look at it.
“After four months in the job it is clear this is a fantastic club with tremendous potential, but we don't own the place so we can't generate revenue over the bar and so on.
“That affects and influences what you can do for the existing squad and in terms of attracting players.
“Bournemouth are very realistic about what they can do. They want to progress without breaking the bank in the process, which is the right thing to do but it makes life very hard.
“Our lads play for the love of the game and from time-to-time work commitments come first, which is completely understandable.”
On the subsequent effects, Pountney continued: “What Hartpury did wasn't that flashy, but they were consistent, applied pressure in the right areas and were very effective throughout.
“We competed really well and our performance levels in the first half were as high as they have been at any point this season, but they clearly benefited from having more time together as a team which made everything they did more natural and we have to aspire to that.
“Our players are good players and if they had the chance to train on a semi-professional or professional basis like that, then they would be more than competitive against teams like Hartpury.
“I certainly wouldn't want the club to stand still. On the playing side we all have aspirations to be a better team playing at a better standard, and I firmly believe the club share those aspirations, but finding a way of realising our potential without bringing the club to its knees remains a significant challenge.”
Lions: Pollard, Metters, Chislett (Stewart, 64), McGowan, Veneroso, Stevenson, Hardcastle, Spikings, Wilford, Manning (Firetto, 74), Graesser (Fuller, h-t), Hennings (Hughes, 60), Hart, Rees, Booth (Wiseman, 19).
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