Rupert Freestone will stay at Albion next season and has signed a one-year-deal with the club he supported as a boy.
Kieran Hallett has further strengthened his Albion side for next season with Rupert extending his stay at Brickfields, whilst he also secured Albion’s Seta Raumakita signature this week as he looks towards a promotion push next season. Barnstaple-born Rupert was more than happy to commit to wearing the Albion shirt for another season.
“It’s my home club,” said Rupert. “It’s the club I supported as a kid. It is the biggest club around really, with the exception of Exeter; but when I was a kid Plymouth were much bigger than Exeter. It is definitely an important club to me, more so than any other I have been involved with.
“I have been at Plymouth for a few years now so it was expected really. The new owners and Kieran wanted to honour the players that had been there for a long time and I think I have had a reasonable season, so they offered me a new deal.”
Rupert has managed 21 appearances for Albion this season, starting ten times. Rupert, who is in his second spell at Brickfields, was kept out of the Albion team for parts of this season by Tom Cowan-Dickie who will join Cornish Pirates next year for his second stint at The Mennaye Field.
“I struggled a little bit at the start of the season,” said Rupert. “I did not get as much game time as I wanted to. I felt I was playing really well, but since about Christmas it has been really good. Tom Cowan-Dickie was playing really well so that kept me out of the shirt for a little while but I am playing again now, so it is going well. We are second in the league; it has been a good season.”
The contract extension comes with Albion in second-place in the National One table, with promotion being a firm focus for Kieran’s side next season. 25-year-old Rupert is looking forward to what next season at Brickfields will bring.
“Kieran is a top coach,” said Rupert. “I knew him from my first spell anyway, so I knew what he was about. I’m not surprised that what he is doing is good. We have got some really good players. Hopefully we will sign players in the key areas that we need to strengthen. I’m sure we will – I am sure he will do a good job of that. I am really looking forward to next season, I think it will be another season where we push on.
The aim is to play to our best ability every week, but that is the next step. If we can continue the season as we are and finish second, then obviously next season we want to improve on that and the only way we can improve on that is finishing first. The goal is promotion, but we will just have to take each week as it comes.”