MILTON Keynes Rugby Club are eager to get their season back under way as they prepare for the first fixtures of 2012 this weekend.
Currently fifth in the Southern Counties North league, City are well placed at the halfway stage to mount a potential title push.
And they come into 2012 with a morale boosting 31-26 victory away at Wooton Bassett - the side sitting above them in the table.
After the festive break, Club President John Silk says the players are eager to get back out onto the field after a disappointing December.
“We looked at the games last month and thought we’d pick up a few more wins than we did,” he said. “It wasn’t really how we’d planned it, but we’ve had a good first half of the season.
“We’re in a good position in the league, we’ve picked up some strong results and we are still in with a shout of winning it.
“Our biggest problem so far has been the lack of bonus points. When you look at the teams around us, they all seem to be picking them up, and if you collect enough bonus points, they become the equivalent of a match win, so we need to be putting more points on the board against some teams.”
January presents a mixture of fixtures for Milton Keynes though, taking on Marlborough and Slough who occupy the bottom two places in the division.
But sandwiched between the two games, Milton Keynes will welcome league leaders Beaconsfield to Emerson Valley - a team who have beaten MK twice so far this season, in the league and cup.
John added: “Everyone’s looking forward to getting back out onto the pitch after Christmas. I went to the first training session of the year on Tuesday and we had 37 players out there, including three new faces.
“We’re all keen to start playing rugby again after what feels like quite a long time since the last game.
“We’ve got two winnable games in Marlborough and Slough, but Beaconsfield will be a really tough game.
“They’re a funny side really - I didn’t think they were up to much when we played them, but they’ve beaten us twice and are top of the league.”
The side are nicely placed to mount a decent run at promotion, but the Preisdent is taking nothing for granted in the difficult division, even if he does have his eyes set on a top three finish.
“I think finishing up there would be a great result for us,” John said. “The teams around us are very good, but we’ve had some decent results against them, so I don’t see why we cannot fight for the top spots.
“We’ve got a lot of the harder games out of the way in the first half of the season, so now we can really press on in the second half.
“Obviously finishing in the top two would be brilliant and we’d love to get promoted. But I think a top three finish would be a great way to end the season.”
City travel to Marlborough on Saturday for their first game of 2012 before welcoming Beaconsfield to Emerson Valley the following weekend on Saturday, January 14.