Fylde’s top try scorer in last three seasons, Tom Carleton, has committed himself to the Woodlands club for another campaign.
The former Kirkham Grammar School star made his 1st team starting debut in March 2017 at the Woodlands against Cambridge. It was an inauspicious beginning as he suffered concussion in the 1st half and was replaced at half-time. The rest of his Fylde career has been quite different.
He returned for the last four games of that season and has been ever present since, an astonishing sequence of 89 consecutive National League games. Add in Lancashire U’20s commitments, two overseas tours with England Counties U’20s (including co-skippering the squad in 2018) and making his senior Lancashire debut in three County Championship fixtures in May 2019 and the playing load on the 22 year old becomes abundantly clear.
Sometimes as a winger, more usually at fullback, Tom has demonstrated exceptional strike running which has brought him 60 tries in 91 Fylde appearances. Spectators take notice whenever he has possession in open field positions and he has become a real crowd favourite amongst the Woodlands faithful. And not just amongst the spectators. The respect he has earned with his team mates resulted in him winning the Players’ Player Award at the end of both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
National recognition has come with him being named in the National Clubs Association National 2 North Team of the Season 2018/19 and The Rugby Paper’s N2N team in 2019-20.
Warren Spragg said: “I’m really pleased that Tom has chosen to stay with us after recently graduating from Lancaster University. He has balanced his academic and rugby commitments extremely well over the past 3 seasons and has a bright future ahead of him on and off the pitch. We all know that Tom is a special talent who lights up the game with his running ability, and I am excited to see him continue in a Fylde shirt this season.”
Tom Carleton said: “I’m very pleased to be committing myself to Fylde for another year. The decision was not as straightforward as it has been previously, having now finished university. However, a conversation with Warren made it clear that Fylde is still the best place to play my rugby. I’m looking forward to being out on the pitch again, whenever that may be.”