Fylde Head Coach Warren Spragg has announced the identities of the new 1st XV skipper and vice-captain.
Hooker Ben Gregory takes over from retired previous leader Adam Lewis, and at 22 years old is one of the youngest captains in the Club’s 100 year history. He follows a line over 100 years of famous and talented club captains including names such as Edward ‘Pop’ Ogden (1927-35), Norman Hinton (1936-39), Bill Howarth (1946-8, 1950-52), Rex Blackledge (1960-62), Mike Hindle (1963-65, 1969-70), Malcolm Phillips (1964-65), Brian Ashton (1971-72), Tony Todd (1973-75), Micky Weir (1977-8, 1982-84), Mike Dixon (1985-88, 1990-91) & Sam Beaumont (2009-2012).
With 91 National League appearances under his belt, and on an unbroken run of 68 consecutive games, Ben Gregory has shown his durability and toughness to go along with serious pace, technical skill and game management. He ran in 13 tries in 25 matches last season and was selected by the NCA in their National Two (North) XV of 2019-20. He has been capped by Lancashire at senior level and has also represented England Counties U’20s.
He will be the third recent Fylde skipper to come from Kirkham Grammar School following on from Chris Briers and Adam Lewis.
He will be assisted by David Fairbrother in the role of Vice-Captain. The highly experienced and inspirational Royal Navy, Lancashire and former England Counties no 8 has amassed 107 appearances in six seasons at the Club despite interruptions through military commitments and injury.
Warren Spragg said: “The appointment of Ben as club captain and Fairy as vice captain, is something we are very excited about as a coaching group. There are a number of players within the current squad who we believed would be able to step up and take the responsibility of being club captain, but we feel that this combination will bring the best out of the team on and off the pitch.
“Ben shares my ambition for this team and has earned the respect of his teammates with his consistently high level of performance on the pitch and his expectation of high standards in training. He will continue to use Adam Lewis as a mentor over the next season, who will be able to share his experience and help Ben adapt to the leadership role.
“Fairy is an inspirational character and someone our younger players look up to as a natural leader. His abrasive, no-nonsense approach is respected by everyone inside the club as well as across the league.”
Ben Gregory said: “With Adam Lewis retiring at the end of the season, there was going to be a big gap to fill both as a player and captain as he has been great the past couple of years.
“When Spraggy asked me about the captaincy it was a no brainer. With the young squad we have, a few older lads and some new recruits it really is a exciting season for Fylde to push on from the disappointment end to last season and I’m really looking forward to the campaign ahead.
“With Fairy as vice captain it will take a bit of the pressure off me. He’s a great leader in the way he plays the game and I’m sure will help a lot throughout the season.”