McDermott excited by Quins youth

Harlequins head coach, Brian McDermott, admits there is still plenty to play for this season despite picking up some key injuries in the past week.

His side go into tomorrow night’s clash against Bradford Bulls without Chad Randall (shoulder) and Karl Temata (knee) who will both miss the rest of the season. Rob Purdham, David Howell and Luke Williamson also miss the game with injury but are hoped to play a further part this year.

McDermott said: “We have had bad luck with injuries for 18 months and have quite a few strong personalities out at the moment that we will miss. However we do have a group of young people who are willing to do what it takes to get the job done.

“This club has known adversity before and we are relishing the challenge of not writing this season off and trying to get to playoffs as long as it is numerically possible.”

Among the young Londoners in tomorrow’s squad are Jamie O’Callaghan, Ben Bolger, Olsi Krasniqi and Rob Thomas, and McDermott is excited about their future.

“My remit since I’ve been at this club has been twofold. One, to win a competition – and ultimately I am here bring the club success – but there is an equally important remit to make sure that in four years time we have seasoned London juniors in the team.

“In a couple of years time, players like Ben Bolger, Olsi Krasniqi, Jamie O’Callaghan and others won’t be making headline because they are getting their debuts but because they are regulars. It’s difficult, and sometimes you’ll be on the wrong end of a result, but the progress and performances are exciting.”

McDermott admits there is some short term pain for long term gain.

“I know there are people that come through the gate who just want to see a good scoreline and I understand that frustration. Not everyone will care that Ben Bolger was alien to this sport three years ago but that reality is what this club is about. It’s a tough challenge but a great story.”

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