If you received a phone call telling you you’d been chosen to be the captain of your team, or manager of your department at work, how would you feel? Obviously you’d initially be very pleased, but there would inevitably also be one or two conflicting emotions at work there too – whether that’s nervousness, worry or apprehension. Well, that’s exactly what happened to new Macclesfield Blues Club captain, Mike Finnemore. One minute he’s happily sitting there at University doing his coursework; the next minute he’s received a phone call telling him he’s the new Club captain. How did he feel? Was he surprised? Did he have any reservations before accepting the job? Well, who better to answer those questions than the man himself? Here’s what Mike had to say when he spoke to Macclesfield Rugby this week
How proud/pleased were you when you heard that you’d been appointed captain of Macclesfield Blues?
“Obviously I was very pleased when I received the phone call from Giles telling me I’d been appointed as captain. I was at University at the time, and certainly wasn’t expecting it. So yes, I was delighted to be told, but I suppose I was also slightly apprehensive. The thing is I still consider myself to be relatively new to the Club having only been here for 2 years, and there are players already in the squad with far more experience of Macclesfield Rugby Club than myself.”
When you say ‘apprehensive’, do you mean you had reservations about taking the job?
“No, I never had any doubts about taking the job; it’s simply that I had some concerns because I haven’t been around the Club as long as some of the other lads. I also appreciated that there are a number of big characters in the squad who could just as easily filled the role – people like Tom Eaton who did a brilliant job as captain in National 2 and took us to the title. He’s got loads of experience and knows the Club inside out. So I was naturally apprehensive about following in his footsteps. Still, whatever concerns I may have had they weren’t enough to put me off, and I’m just proud to have been offered the role by Giles.”
Do you think that having a number of proven leaders on the pitch with you will help you in your new role?
“It will definitely help me, and I think it will benefit the team too. Giles has set the team up in such a way that there won’t be one leader on the pitch calling the shots and dictating play: he prefers a system where you have multiple decisions makers on the field. That takes the pressure off me and also means that I will be able to call on the more experienced players for advice and guidance. I think this new system will definitely help the team in the long term.”
Are you looking forward to working in partnership with Vice-Captain, Jordan Brookes?
“I think it will work out well, and be good for Macclesfield. Jordan’s a good bloke and a very good player. I worked alongside him a little last season when I played at number 8 a few times. I know from that that he’s sharp, a good communicator and reads the game well. I think the combination between the two of us could work well.”
Did Giles give any specific reasons about why he was appointing you as captain? He’s said that he choose you because you’re not afraid of leading from the front and getting your hands dirty. Did he mention that to you?
“No he didn’t give any reasons for appointing me as captain. He just told me out straight, and asked me if I wanted the job. I certainly wasn’t expecting the call, but was very flattered to be asked. I didn’t hesitate in accepting, despite the reservations I mentioned before. I have great respect for Giles and have worked with him before, so I know what he’s trying to achieve at the Club.”
What sort of qualities do you think you can bring to the role?
“Qualities? Wow -that’s a difficult question. I suppose all I can say is that I can think I can do a job. I’ve played under Giles before and understand his game plan. I might not have the experience of some of the other players, but I’ve got experience of playing rugby Giles’ way. I know what he wants, and I know how he wants the team to play. My role is to ensure that that plan is carried out on the pitch. I suppose that’s what I can offer the squad in the coming season.”