From Brondby to Holt: introducing the Owls’ new captain

Holt Owls' new captain Tommy Rathleff. Picture: Club

Holt Owls' new captain Tommy Rathleff. Picture: Club - Credit: Archant

Holt Rugby Club have broken new ground in choosing a Danish captain for their second team, the Owls.

Tommy Rathleff was brought up in Brøndby, a suburb of Copenhagen that is best known for its football team tha regularly competes in European competitions.

Tommy gained his rugby experience in Hong Kong where he worked as a shipping executive. He subsequently played in Singapore and in Brazil so can claim extensive experience of the game and will offer a new perspective to his side.

He has now settled in Hindolveston with his English wife and their two daughters.

Over the last few seasons Holt have experienced a series of injuries to first team players and this has meant that Owls players have been called on the fill the gaps.

It is inevitable that this will continue and, as Tommy puts it: 'The second team should always support the first and the interests of the club are the priority.'

However, the Owls will start the season with a strong squad. Indeed, they will have over 40 players at their disposal.

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Given such resources Tommy is determined that the Owls will carve out a strong identity of their own. Here he emphasises that he is able to build on the excellent work of team manager Lee Bradshaw and his predecessor as captain, Sammy Wright.

Tommy is in his third season with Holt, a club that in his view combines a good work ethic with a thoroughly enjoyable social element.

In his first season he played a handful of games for the Owls and alternated between the second row and the back row. Last season he established himself as powerful and uncompromising second row forward and is ambitious to take the team forward. Team spirit is strong and players are confident that the Owls will win their league — irrespective of calls on players for the first XV.

Holt's first team have a number of friendly matches planned before their league campaign kicks off with a trip to Stowmarket on September 9. Their first home match is against old rivals West Norfolk the following Saturday,

North Walsham, who have a home friendly against Kettering this Saturday (3pm), open their league campaign on September 2 at home to Colchester.