After over a month on pre season training the Blues Squad gets some match practice on Thursday evening when Rotherham from the Championship send down a squad for the first of the pre season games and this takes place at Priory Park with a 7.15.pm. kick off so do come along and see the new Macclesfield team as it prepares for their second campaign in National One under the guidance of Geoff Wappett & Andy Northey.
There have been a number of changes since last the Blues graced Priory Park against Barking back in mid May with the most notable being the loss of last season’s Skipper – Evan Stewart – who has moved to Fylde following a new job in Lancaster and he goes, of course, with our best wishes after the two excellent seasons he has had with us. Fylde, if you believe the various rugby commentators, will be the side to beat this season as they move up from National Two North into National One and they have made a great number of signings to show their intent. They have certainly made a large number of additions to their already strong squad and will be a force to be reckoned with but by the same token so will the other promoted squads from Jersey & Ealing as well as relegated Birmingham & Solihull.
Also leaving Priory Park after sterling service are the following players:
Jonathon Keep – to the progressive Sale FC at Heywood Road
Peter Allen – to Lymm
Chris Townsend – to Burnage
Ed Sayce – to Barnes, London
Ben Latham – to Chester
Ben Coulbeck – possibly ‘retired’ but unable to confirm
My thanks to them as I have witnessed many games where their contributions have been pivotal for the Blues over the years and clearly the best wishes of all at MRUFC also goes with them.
Coming into the scene at Macclesfield are the following:
Gavin Woods – Caldy, Cheshire & England Counties Prop Forward
Martin Kent – back to Macc from Coventry (Prop)
Dean Williams – Lock from Sedgley Park
Fergus Mulchrone – back after a season with Sale Sharks
Jack Reed – Hooker from Exeter
Ed Stobart – Threequarter also from Sale Academy
Phil Marsland – Full Back from Myerscough College
Many of the above – holidays & honeymoons permitting – will be turning out on Thursday or in the second Senior outing on Saturday 20 August when Caldy visit for the final pre season encounter before we entertain Wharfedale on 27 August in the first League fixture of the season.
The Lions Squad also have a pre season run out on Wednesday 17 August when Wilmslow send a squad to Priory Park (7.15.pm.) and they begin their campaign with a Cheshire Cup Quarter Final game on 27th August at Chester – 3.pm.
Last week there was much activity at Priory Park when, with the assistance of Chris Jones, Pete Allen & Steve Burnage who led the coaching there was Rugby Coaching for Boys with groups from Under 6 through to Under 14 taking part in some intensive work which culminated in some good games at the end of the week.
Geoff Wappett – Course Director – hopes to have further days in the October & Xmas Half Terms to continue the progress of those who attended.
Can’t believe the season is almost with us – just three Saturday’s away – and the first months fixtures for the Blues as follows:
Sat 27th August – Wharfedale – Home – 3.pm.
Sat 3 September – Stourbridge – Away
Sat 10 September – Sedgley Park – Home
Sat 17 September – Blaydon – Away
Sat 24 September – Barking – Home – this game will also host the first pre match dinner – details when I have them.
As one season begins another draws to an exciting conclusion in the ‘other’ code with much still to be decided before the Grand Final.
Enjoy your Rugby – I do,