The Blackpool Gazette‘s Sports Editor Andy Moore spoke to Fylde Chairman Mike Brennand earlier this week. Reproduced courtesy of the Gazette.
Fylde RFC are planning to play some friendly fixtures in May, with or without spectators.
The Woodlands club’s primary concern is to arrange matches for a squad which has not played for more than 12 months.
Fylde’s players are set to resume training next week as lockdown restrictions ease, while the club attempts to set up some May friendlies against local opposition.
Key dates on the roadmaps out of lockdown provided by the government and the Rugby Football Union include May 17, when matches can hopefully be staged in front of limited crowds, and May 31, when it may be possible to start playing full-contact rugby, with scrums and mauls.
Fylde chairman Mike Brennand told The Gazette he isn’t focusing on those dates.
He explained: “The plan is to try to do something in May. If it has to be amended laws, then that’s what we’ll do to try to get something done.
“It’s for the players more than for the club, so I don’t really care if we get people in the ground. I just want the young lads to be able to play.
“It’s just been crazy going 12 months without any rugby but we hope to sort out a couple of local friendlies.
“I’ve been speaking with our director of rugby Dave Young to see what we can do. If we can get people in to watch, that’s fine but that isn’t the aim –the idea is to let young men play sport.
“The problem with going beyond May is that you are out of season and we’ll be back in full training in mid-July for next season. So we’ll probably just try to do something in May, so lads can get together and enjoy some rugby.
“We’ll leave June, then it’s training in July and trial matches in August before the season starts in September.”
Fylde’s last senior match was a 48-10 victory over Luctonians at the Woodlands on March 7 last year.
All hopes of staging a 2020/21 league season were abandoned in November, with plans for a New Year tournament for all National League clubs scuppered by the latest lockdown.
Brennand feels particularly for the club’s developing players and added: “I was speaking to Elliot Horner, a young prop of 22 coming through and progressing all the time, and he has missed a full season.
“He sees a front-rower like Bevan Rodd, who played some games for us, now playing for Sale Sharks and getting experience week in, week out, while poor Elliot is missing out.
“The upside for Elliot is that he has been able to develop his microbrewery business Cannabrew over the past year, so it’s not all bad!”