Andy Moore, Sports Editor of the Blackpool Gazette, spoke recently with Fylde Chairman Dave Young. Reproduced courtesy of the Gazette..
Fylde RFC plan to press ahead with new contracts for players this summer despite all the uncertainty over next season.
Even if the 2020/21 campaign does begin as planned in September, it may well be the last National Two North season in the current format as the Rugby Football Union considers a league restructure for next year.
Fylde chairman Dave Young hailed the efforts of head coach Warren Spragg as the club seeks to retain most the senior squad that came agonisingly close to promotion this season.
Young told The Gazette: “Warren has done a great job in keeping the players together and keeping them engaged. He has reached agreements with players to get us into the position where we can issue contracts as usual – and we have to do that because if we start in September we have to be ready to go.
“The aim is to keep the squad together and avoid the risk of players going elsewhere. The feedback from Warren is positive and the players have shown their loyalty to the club.”
Clubs have been consulted on the RFU proposal to reduce the two existing competitions at National Two level from 16 clubs to 14 from 2021/22, while adding a third regionalised division.
Spragg spoke for the club at large when he expressed his strong opposition to the idea.
And Young added: “The club’s view is for the status quo to be maintained, so we have a pathway for ambitious clubs. We don’t want a diluting of standards and that’s what you do by creating more leagues.
“We have always nailed our colours to mast but I don’t think we’ll get what we want.”
Finally, the chairman was delighted to see the club’s most famous son, former England and British Lions captain Sir Bill Beaumont, re-elected chairman of World Rugby for a further four years.
Young said of Beaumont, who spent his entire playing career at Fylde: “He is a great ambassador for our club and for the game, even though he has been stuck at home like the rest of us in recent weeks.
“Hopefully he’ll be able to put his manifesto into practice. He has to deal with a lot of the problems we do, though obviously at a higher level.”