The Blackpool Gazette‘s Andy Moore caught up with Alex Loney at the end of last week. Reproduced courtesy of the Gazette.
After a 14-month wait, the senior players of Fylde RFC played a match over the recent holiday weekend.
It was an in-house contest, involving players of the first and second XV squads, after scheduled friendlies against Blackburn were cancelled due to the recent rise in Covid cases.
Even so, the match fulfilled its purpose for the players and coaches, and was enjoyed by spectators attending the first senior game at the Woodlands since March 7 last year.
Joint-head coach Alex Loney told The Gazette: “It was a really good game played under adapted rules (no scrums or mauls).
“We would have preferred to have played Blackburn but it was really competitive. The lads enjoyed being back on the pitch and getting the minutes in their legs after a few weeks back in training.
“We got everything out of the game we wanted and it was a great day, with members coming down to watch. All the protocols were followed, with table service and a barbecue.”
Loney now feels happy to plan a traditional pre-season programme before the National Two North campaign begins at Tynedale on September 4.
He added: “We’ll have four weeks off now and then the formal pre-season will start.
“It’s a bit tricky because a lot of the lads are raring to go but we don’t want to train continuously through the summer.
“We’ll come back at the end of the month for a block of four weeks, then have a week off and go again, building up to the start of the season in September. We will have the two pre-season games in August as normal. It’s a bit of an unknown, and I know other clubs are looking at different models and possibly more pre-season games.
“But because we’ve had this period of training since the end of March we feel we can keep it fairly normal. It will be a demanding 30-game season, so we want a normal preparation.”