Mike McFarlane says Abu Dhabi Harlequins' amazing quintuple was a freak as he looks to dispel complacency

Matt Jones 20:04 08/08/2017
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Mike McFarlane has described Abu Dhabi Harlequins’ astounding 2016/17 campaign as a “freak” and insists his side have no right to believe another quintuple of trophies is likely.

Quins marched to an unprecedented season of success – winning the UAE’s three major honours of UAE Premiership, West Asia Premiership and Dubai Sevens titles.

McFarlane’s men also lifted the Western Clubs Champions League crown in pre-season as well as the West Asia Cup to complete a clean sweep of honours.

But he said there will be no sense of complacency from the Zayed Sports City outfit.

“Obviously everyone is talking about last year. It was a freak year,” said McFarlane.

“In competitions featuring such strong sides, to capture every trophy was phenomenal. But that’s done. That gives us no right to under prepare or think we have a right to turn up and get wins.

“Only hard work on and off the paddock will ensure we start the season well and can build with every game.”

McFarlane, a teacher at the British School Al Khubairat, is enjoying his summer holidays, currently at home in the UK, but his players have been putting the hard yards in during pre-season away from his watchful eye.

And even with many players throughout the club also away enjoying their summers, McFarlane revealed he is still able to keep track of their progress.

“We’ve followed up our phased preseason from last year with a few tweaks from what we learnt,” he added.

“Numbers have been fantastic since we started and players have had access to five-six sessions a week which have taken them through strength training at the world class facilities of Vogue and conditioning sessions both on and off the pitch at Zayed Sports City and Haddins.

“Players away with work or on holiday have programmes to follow and all their data goes onto a live document which the coaches can track.

“The new lads coming in have shown a great attitude and know there’s no complacency and everybody fights for a shirt. It’s that atmosphere and ethos which creates such competitiveness yet closeness throughout all Quins squads.”

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