Adam Radwan is relishing the pressure of being a marked man when Newcastle Falcons finally get their season underway.
The flying winger sees the 2019-20 campaign as a launch pad for the club’s longer-term future, and is refusing to dwell on any negativity following last season’s relegation.
“Last season is gone now, so I’m not even going to waste time talking about it,” said the 21-year-old, who hopes to add to his 20 first team appearances.
“All we can do now is get promoted, and it’s as simple as that.
“Everyone is so focused and excited around that challenge, and we see it as a real opportunity. I think this season could be really good for the group to have that target.
“A lot of young players will hopefully get the opportunity to step up when the time is right, and for the long-term future of the club I think people should be really excited by the talent we’ve got coming through here at the moment.”
Not shying away from the fact the Falcons will start the season with a target on their backs, Radwan said: “That side of things doesn’t bother me, to be honest.
“I’m looking forward to going away to different grounds and having Newcastle Falcons as the team that everyone wants to beat.
“We’re totally aware that every team in the division wants to turn us over and that we’ll have to work incredibly hard every single week, but I think that’s a great challenge. It’ll be good for us in the long run.”
Currently knuckling down in an elongated pre-season due to the Rugby World Cup, the winger explained: “Pre-season has been good, but tough, as you’d expect.
“I’ve stayed injury-free for pretty much the entire duration, I feel like I’m in a good place and I’m just trying to keep focused for that first game over at Jersey on September 21.
“Pre-season is a challenge that you have to embrace, and as hard as it is you just have to appreciate it’s only once a year. The graft we’re doing now is the thing that will allow us to do what we need during the rest of the season, so as long as you view it with that mind-set then you can deal with it a bit better.
“The toughest thing this year is the fact that pre-season is so long. If you think back to this time last year we’d already played the Premiership 7s, we’d beaten Nottingham and Leinster and this coming weekend we’d be playing Edinburgh at home before our first league game the week after.
“This year we still have another month to go until our first game, so it’s just dealing with the mental side of going so long without a match. In fairness to the coaching team they’ve done everything they realistically can to help keep the lads stimulated and focused, and it’s coming together well.”
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