HENLEY HAWKS captain Martin Nutt believes his championship-winning side is more than capable of surviving in National 1 next season.
The Hawks swept aside Worthing Raiders 55-27 in their final-day title showdown at Dry Leas 13 days ago to secure automatic promotion as winners of National 2 South.
Now Nutt, who lifted the trophy with Tom Allen after replacing him as skipper in March, is already looking ahead to the next campaign.
He said: “I think a lot of teams will see what we’ve done this year and we will keep the majority of the squad.
“We’ll have to bring a few guys in to give us a big squad but that also brings out a lot in the current players. I think we can be competitive and I don’t see us struggling at all. We will be pushing every team in the league.
“I would like to think we will win more than we will lose.
“The coaching staff will have their views on how we want to play but if we play how we have over these last few weeks the teams will have something to worry about.”
Nutt, 31, feels their unbeaten home record will be vital if they can carry the form into the next campaign.
“It always makes a big difference when you’re strong at home and having that little bit extra knowing we haven’t lost at home. That will certainly bode us well for next year that teams won’t want to come to Dry Leas. We can make it a bit of a fortress and use it to our advantage.”
Henley were last beaten in January away to Launceston before embarking on a 10-match unbeaten run.
Nutt said: “I think we all knew we had a 10-game plan in which we had to win every game to win the league. We knew we could beat anyone in the league.
“We had some tough games but we showed during those 10 games how good we were. We’ve ground teams down and got the results we needed.
“We weren’t looking for a play-off place, we were looking to win the league because we thought we were the best team.”
lWorthing will join Henley Hawks in Division 1 next season after winning 28-26 at Stourbridge in the end of season play-off.