Fylde begin their competitive 2017-18 season with a warm up game at old friends and rivals Sedgley Tigers at Park Lane on Saturday (ko 3pm). This has been a regular date for the two clubs in recent seasons as they both prepare for their National League fixtures which begin on Saturday, 2nd September. Fylde won the equivalent game a year ago by 34-14 at the Woodlands. Of course, the results of these kind of pre-season games are much less important than the opportunity for the players to make a case for a starting 1st team place when Cambridge open the National One season at the Woodlands on the 2nd September.
Fylde supporters making the trip will look forward to seeing a much changed squad against the National Two (North) hosts. A number of the newcomers to the 1st team squad will get a run out, including lock forward Olli Parkinson (formerly with Macclesfield), flankers Harlan Corrie (Penrith), utility back Tom Grimes (ex-Blaydon) and winger Henry Hadfield (Tynedale). Amongst the younger players who forced their way into the squad last season, England Counties U’20s stars Connor Wilkinson and Tom Carleton are also likely to be on view.
A number of last season’s Hawks regulars also have a chance to show their talent including Jamie Brookes, Adam Joyner, Toby Harrison, Andy Stevens, Karl Capstick, George Brookes, Zack Coultas, Lewis Pattison and Jake Foster. An experienced ‘newcomer’ is goal kicking half-back Danny Carlton, former skipper of Manchester RFC, who played a couple of games for the 2nd team last season.
Head Coach Warren Spragg said: “We’re looking forward to having a competitive run out on Saturday. These fixtures have been really useful for both teams in the past few years and this will give both the chance to test where we are with regards to hitting the season in form. I’ve seen some good stuff in training and am excited to see how the players choose to approach Saturday’s game. For some it is their first time in a Fylde shirt and that is a privilege, but on top of that they are all playing for their places in the squad to face Cambridge which should be more than enough motivation to perform.”
The squad is:
Sedgley Tigers have a new coaching set-up with the appointment of Head Coach Matt Bebbington who is assisted by former Fylde star and current Kirkham Grammar School teacher Jonny Roddam.