This is Warren Spragg’s column in today’s match programme.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome today’s opponents, Preston Grasshoppers to the Woodlands for what I expect to be a fantastic game between two teams in good form and with a lot of pride at stake. Our guests have been consistently strong all season and adapted well to life back in National 2 North, playing a direct and abrasive brand of rugby that has seen them win their last 3 games.
Last Saturday’s professional display at Sedgley Park took us to 6 games unbeaten and was a performance that the lads should take a lot of confidence from. We had to change the squad at the last minute and were forced into making all five substitutions due to injury, but every player stepped up and played their part to grind out the win.
It is a testament to the strength of squad when we can manage to win a game like that with 10 players unavailable due to injury or other reasons, and shows the importance of having a strong senior squad and 2nd team. Dan Orwin and Ian Pearson have been working tirelessly to keep the Hawks ticking over while so many players are out and it is only fair that we recognise the importance of their hard work and thank them for their enormous contributions.
Whilst there is no need to single out individual players for praise, I would like to take this opportunity to mention how important some of the people around me have been during a difficult 2018. We may have stepped backwards in the league structure but have made massive strides forwards as a club and first team squad. David Wiseman, Roger Banks and David Young have worked tirelessly to ensure that I can help to support this squad to the best of the club’s ability. Nik Smith has been a fantastic role model for the lads, Pete Conway continues to make sure that we are never short of bibs, balls and most importantly, coffee! Jacqui Boorman and Jo Snook have worked wonders with a crazy injury list, and last but definitely not least, Dan Orwin and Alex Loney have been a pleasure to coach alongside. I am fortunate to be surrounded by good people at Fylde where we are all trying to get better at what we do. This is really important to me and helps to set the right example to our players.
I’ll sign out for the year by wishing all of our members, supporters, sponsors, M&Js and everybody else associated with the club a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!