WITH a season under his belt at Murrayfield, Alan Solomons has said he is ready to start leaning on home-grown talent as Edinburgh go in pursuit of a top-six finish in the Pro12.
South African Solomons and his support staff arrived in Scotland on the eve of last season and set about putting their stamp on the club.
An eighth-place finish - their highest in three years - followed as Edinburgh grew into the season.
And, following a full pre-season under the new regime, the head coach is confident plans are in place to shoot further up the Pro12 pecking order.
“I know the system and the setup now. There’s stability there now and I think we’ve laid the foundations at Edinburgh,” said Solomons at the official season launch.
“Now is the time that we can move it on and start realising our vision which is to build a sustainable club through the medium of our indigenous players.
“We have much better strength in depth and we are going to need that because it’s a long old season of 28 matches and you have to be able to manage and rotate your squad.
“It was a difficult season because we had no pre-season with them, so we had no conditioning with them but this year has been different, we are much happier. The players have been conditioned the way I want them to be conditioned.”
With 23-year-old centre Matt Scott captaining the side this season, there is an emphasis on young Scottish talent - and Solomons insists patience will be rewarded.
“What I think is fantastic is that I have a full U23 side of indigenous players and when we played Leicester [in pre-season] you saw the young talent,” he added.
“You started to see the green shoots of it and I’m quite excited about the young talent we have available.
“Sure it’s going to take some time to come through but it’s similar to what we did at Ulster and it’s the same strategy.
“We want a top-six finish and then we’ll be in Europe. We know the sides in the league are outstanding, so it’s going to be tough.”