HERBIE’S BACK AS ALBION CAPTAIN
Long-serving Plymouth Albion player Herbie Stupple has been appointed Captain again for the forthcoming season. Herbie, who plays Number 8, feels good about the appointment. “It’s quite a privilege,” he says. “I’ve been doing it for four years and I really enjoy it. Next year I’ll have been at the club for ten years and it will be my testimonial year. I still feel a real passion for the club and I think that’s an important part of my leadership role.”
There have been a lot of changes at Albion recently with the arrival of several new players, Head Coach Ben Gulliver and the appointment of a new coaching team – Albion player Dan Mugford, Exeter Chiefs top points scorer Gareth Steenson and his former teammate Carl Rimmer.
“As I see it as Captain, it’s important for me to provide that continuity for the players,” says Herbie. “When a lot of changes happen, it’s good to have that same face to go to. I can go back and forth and also help the new guys coming in.
“I have to make sure everyone works as a team and I think we’ve been lucky with the new signings. They’re at Albion because they want to better themselves and they are going to make a massive difference to the team. They have passion for the game.
“The team have had some pretty frustrating times and we lost a lot of games in the first half of the last season. Next season we want to be finishing higher and better than last year.
“Over the last four or five years we’ve really bonded so well as a team and there are no egos. Everyone wants to play their part in the team.”
After problems with back injuries in recent years, Herbie – who turns 29 in November – is pleased to be back to fitness.
“I played every single game bar one last year and I’m back playing in my old ways after injury. I was worrying for a while but I can feel my confidence coming back now I’m back on form.”
Life is good off the pitch for Herbie too. He and his wife, Charlotte, have just welcomed baby Jerry, a brother for Lyla who is almost seven. So when will Jerry get his first team kit?
“I’ve thought about this already,” laughs Herbie. “When Lyla was born the wife of Dave Stone, who takes care of the ball boys and the changing rooms at Albion, knitted a lovely little Albion cardigan and hat for her. So that’s waiting for him.”