It’s always sad when a player leaves the Club he’s been with for some time and moves on to pastures new. The thing is, no matter how fond you may be of a player, you can never begrudge him the opportunity to move on and perform at a higher level. So it was with Fergus Mulchrone, Macclesfield Blues’ talented full back. When he got the call from Sale Sharks, it was an opportunity that was too good to miss. Unfortunately, everything has now changed at the Premiership Club: they’ve recruited a new Director of Sport, a new head coach and virtually a new team. Obviously for Fergus, this meant moving on again. However, Sale’s loss is most definitely the Blues’ gain. We’re delighted to welcome him back to Priory Park and expect great things yet again. So far this season he’s been ticking all the right boxes. Macclesfield Rugby caught up with him this week ahead of the Blaydon game to ask how he was finding life and playing again at Priory Park.
You spent last year at Sale Sharks: did you find the experience rewarding and advantageous, or was it just frustrating?
“I suppose it was both really. It was advantageous in the fact that I learned more than I thought I would on the pitch. It’s just constant, working every day out there with the senior players around me giving advice and encouragement. The more time you spend on the paddock, the more you pick up. It’s the little things you’re told that make the difference. Then, once you come off the pitch, you’re straight into a review room to analyse all the videos from training that you’ve done, and studying all the tapes from the matches you’ve played. What it does is highlight what you need to work on, so you can go back out there the following session and tweak things. I suppose the biggest benefit was the expertise and the knowledge that you had all around you, and you obviously absorbed this as best you could.”
“The frustrating part was the lack of opportunities. Don’t get me wrong: it was a very good Club to be involved with, and I loved every minute of it, but because of the players they had in the squad, getting opportunities wasn’t always that easy. The problem was that as they started to loose some of the matches later on in the year, they tended not to play the fringe players. You can understand it obviously, but it’s still frustrating. At least I thoroughly enjoyed the appearances I did manage to make and was lucky enough to score a try in each of those. So I was happy enough with that. It hasn’t put me off trying it again if the opportunity ever presented itself again, but it’s great being involved with the Blues side at the moment. It’s going well and a lot of people are tipping us to finish near the top end of the league, which is good. Mind you, you can’t help but feel that a few players won’t go unnoticed by some of the bigger Clubs if they carry on playing the way they are.”
So far it’s played 3, won 3 all with bonus points. It doesn’t get much better, does it?
“No, it doesn’t really, does it? I think we can definitely keep this momentum going. Geoff focuses on just one point at training sessions each week; some area where he thinks we could improve. Then he tweaks what we’re doing, and I think the team have responded well to everything he and Andy have asked of us. This week we’ve been concentrating on tightening up our defence, because we’ve been letting in more points than we should be doing. He wants us to respond to that and put it into action. So, I’ll look forward to that this weekend up at Blaydon, where I think our defence will have to perform as well as it can to get the points.”
“I think as a team we’re playing well together. Last week I thought we were on fire, especially up front where we bullied their (Sedgley’s) pack off the park, in terms of power, fitness and player management. So I do think we’ll go very well again this year. A top 3 finish is definitely what we need to be aiming for, if not better. What Geoff and Andy have brought to the team is direction. They’ve got their style of playing and ideas, and the image of how they want the Club to progress. So they’ve brought in players who’ll help us achieve these ambitions on the pitch. They given us support, commitment and direction and it’s brought its benefits. We’ve all bought into this and it’s working well. From my point of view that’s great, because we’re keeping on moving forward”
How do you see the rest of the year going for you and the boys and what ambitions do you have?
“I’ve settled back into Macclesfield well enough, and am playing full back again and thoroughly enjoying it. The lads are great and a good laugh and the coaches are good, so personally I couldn’t be happier. All I want to be is on the winning team every week: as long as we’re winning, I won’t have any issues. It’s only if we start to lose that we’ll have to start looking at ourselves and trying to put things right. From my point of view, my ambitions are just to get a top three finish or better: it’s as simple as that. Obviously you always try to improve your own game and link up better with the boys out wide, but what’s important is the team, and winning together as a team. We need to carry on doing what we’re doing, but we’ll only be able to do that if our forwards carry on destroying the opposition packs. After that, it’s down to the rest of us.”