Blues’ Brothers loving life at Priory Park

13th March 2012

You ask any sports fan to name a famous pair of sporting siblings and the same names will begin to crop up.

Whether it be former England footballers Gary and Phil Neville, Australian cricketers Steve and Mark Waugh or even the American tennis duo of Bob and Mike Bryan, siblings have featured in many sporting circles around the globe.

For the fans of Macclesfield Blues though, the first name on everyone’s lips will be that of Mulchrone…Charlie and Fergus Mulchrone to be precise.

The brothers have been instrumental in Macc’s season and despite having only featured together in 16 of Blues’ 25 league fixtures, the pair have scored an incredible 28 tries between them.

It is those incredible numbers that have seen the Mulchrone’s stock rise in National One to become a name mentioned and often feared by sides visiting Priory Park.

But what do the brothers think about playing alongside one another and how does it affect them outside of rugby?

“It can be good at times, because Charlie is a great player and can create a lot of space at times which is always good,” Fergus said.

“We do banter each other about our own games, especially the try count, because Charles always gives me a weekly reminder of how many I’ve scored.”

Charlie added: “Ferg is a good player and I see him like any other player on the pitch, but having never played with him until the start of this season, I do enjoy it.

“We’re just like any other siblings in the sense that we have our little competitions with each other but as we’re injured at the moment it has all been put on the back burner.

“We have a pretty standard relationship off the field, we share a similar circle of friends so spend a lot of time socialising together, so in that sense we are pretty close.”

Having played for different sides until this season, the strain of two rugby players in the family took its toll, with their devoted parents often having to miss one of their offspring in action; something that has since been solved with their arrival at Priory Park.

 “It suits mum and dad well because they can both come and watch us together instead of one of them missing the other son’s game, and also they can socialise and enjoy the game together.” Charlie said.

Despite the prolific scoring from the duo, ‘frustration’ has been the defining phrase of their respective campaigns, with both recovering from serious injuries, the brothers have been forced to watch from the side-lines for long periods of the season, with Charlie missing nine matches and Fergus six.

 No player likes being injured and being forced to support their team from afar, but for a rugby family like the Mulchrones, the tedium is amplified.

“Frustration is definitely a word I would use to describe the season for me as I hate being injured,” Charlie noted.

 “It is not something I am not good at dealing with because I find it hard watching rugby at the best of times, especially when I know I could be playing.

“It was made all the worse when I found out I would be missing the Fylde and England counties game, the two I have been looking forward to the most.”

Ecstasy turned to Agony for the pair as they both pulled up with injuries just days after being selected for the England Counties against Ireland, but for Fergus, the biggest frustration comes from missing the end of the season where conditions will suit his attacking style.

He added: “I’ve done well on the try front this season [13 in 19 games], I even bagged a hat-trick at one point, but with the end of the season, the ground will start to harden up and that would benefit the way I like to play.”

With just five games left in the National League One season and Blues lying in fifth but level on points with their next opponents Blackheath, how the season is remembered is in their hands.

Nevertheless, the brothers believe the team still has plenty to achieve between now and the end of April.

“We had a great run of nine victories which put us right up there in the mix, but the last few games haven’t gone our way,” Charlie said.

“These results have set us back so realistically we must be looking at a top four finish to match last season, but as this league has shown week in, week out anything is possible so it is very difficult to set targets.”

Fergus added: “I still think we can up there or thereabouts come the end of the season, we just need to play our game and hopefully we can do well.”

Though the brothers are highly driven and ambitious while donning the blue of Macclesfield, they are both far more laid back about the direction of their respective careers, opting instead to focus on the here and now.

“I intend to keep playing as long as I’m having fun and wherever that takes me then so be it,” Charlie added.

“I started playing at the age of six and have loved every minute of it, so I know the day I’m not having a laugh while playing is the day I pack it in, though I hope that isn’t for a long time yet.”

Fergus added: “I want to play as well as can and as consistently as I can and see what happens, that’s the plan for me.”

While what the future holds is a complete unknown for the pair, their sole focus right now will surely be to recover from injury while helping the club end their season on a high in any way possible .