The Blackpool Gazette’s Sports Editor Andy Moore caught up with former Head Coach Mark Nelson at the end of last week. Reproduced courtesy of the Gazette]
It’s a fresh start at Fylde RFC, though the club is delighted to welcome back an old friend to ease the transition into a new era.
Former Fylde head coach and Lancashire supremo Mark Nelson is back at the Woodlands in the role of acting chairman of rugby and suggested his involvement may not just be short-term.
Nelson told The Gazette: “There have been changes in terms of the committee and the top table, and part of that has seen Dave Young step down as chairman of rugby after doing a good job.
“Steve Rigby is going to take on the role but is busy with various commitments and they asked if I would step in until Steve is available.
“That doesn’t mean I won’t continue to help out in whatever capacity will help the club but, for now, my role is to support Alex (Loney) and Chris (Briers, joint head coaches) in the coaching and management of the first team and act as a sounding board.
“I’ll also look at other areas of rugby at the club, and offer advice and practical help to Matt (Filipo, chairman) and the new guys.
“I’ve been involved at Fylde for many years and this is the fourth time in an official capacity. I’ve had a lot of time invested in Alex and Chris with Lancashire, and I’m happy to be a resource to help the club move forward.”
Seven days after the Sale game, National League rugby resumes after an 18-month hiatus as Fylde head to Tynedale to launch their campaign in division two north.
Fylde were fighting for promotion when the league was halted and aim to do so again.
Nelson said: “This season is an absolutely level playing field. It’s not as though anyone else has had a different preparation. Every club has been governed by the rules laid down by the government and it’s probably the most even playing field we’ve ever had.
“There’s reason to be confident. Fylde have brought Aled Trenhaile (from Kirkham Grammar School) into the coaching team and the atmosphere is really good.
“There’s a real buzz about the club, a breath of fresh air. A lot of hard work is going on behind the scenes and the vibes are really positive.”
This is set to be the last season under the current structure, with the National Leagues due to be reduced from 16 to 14 clubs for 2022/23 and a third division added at Fylde’s level.
“They first have to decide what they are doing with the Championship and that will determine what happens with promotion in the National Leagues,” explained Nelson.
“So it’s odd starting a season not knowing what could transpire in terms of promotion and relegation, but there’s a lot of ambition at Fylde and everyone is looking to take the club forward.”