Give youth its head: new season’s signings

23rd July 2012

Priory Park is already going to be awash with new faces next season thanks to the shrewd dealings of Head Coach and Director of Rugby, Geoff Wappett, over the summer months. He’s added experience and guile to the side along with some fresh young blood. Still, part of the master plan was to not only strengthen the squad, but to add strength in depth. Geoff has always argued that the greater the competition for places, the better the team performance will be. If you know that you cannot have a guaranteed starting place, then you’ll move heaven and earth to make sure that you put yourself bang in contention for it. So how do you get this competition? Well, you bring in more players to challenge for places. So that’s exactly what Geoff has done. This week Geoff tells Macclesfield Rugby about the final few players who’ll be joining the Blues squad this season. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

You mentioned the emphasis on youth recruitment previously, is that what inspired your choices for the last group of summer signings?

“Well yes it certainly is. When you are looking at younger players, you’re effectively looking for potential. Occasionally you can strike really lucky and discover that the potential is already fulfilled, but that’s very rare indeed.  But that doesn’t bother me too much, as I like a challenge and I trust my judgement. If I see that somebody has this potential and they’re prepared to graft and fight for a place, then they’re my type of player.”

So who else can we expect to see next season then?

Elliot Brierley is a young centre who’ll be joining us from Rotherham. He was with us for a time before he moved on up there. Elliot’s a big strong boy who’s played in the centre for Cheshire in the past. He’s got great pace, power and good hands, and will fill the outside centre position we’ve struggled with in the past. Elliot, like the other youngsters this season, has great potential and should do really well this term.”

“We’re also bringing in another young lad called Kirk Robinson who was recommended to us. What can I say about Kirk? Well, he’s a man mountain. The lad’s from Sandbach and still only 19, but he’s already 6 feet 5 and 18 stone plus. What’s more, he’s a bit of an athlete. Once again, he’ll be another one to keep an eye on and see how he progresses. I’ve got high hopes as he’s an exciting talent.”

“Another young boy joining us is David Hague. David played for Durham University in their 2 year unbeaten run. David played on the wing in all their games when they swept all before them and won the National Universities Cup. He’s a Glossop boy who’s coming to work in Manchester. He’s a handful and will add greatly to the squad.”

Matt Clark is a centre who’ll be with us this season. He currently lives in Huddersfield and played for Blaydon last season.  He’s away on holiday at the moment, but will hopefully be joining us soon. As is the case with so many players, I’ve worked with Matt before when he was around 13/14.”

“We’re also hopeful that we’ll be able to sign a lad called Sam Reynolds who’s played in the back row for Barking. He’ll be joining us if his Master’s Degree at Manchester University comes to fruition, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t. He’s just finished studying at the University of Kent, and touch wood should join us in the next week or two.”