Macclesfield Blues review of the season

What a difference a year makes. At this time last year Macclesfield Blues were relegated from National League 1 after a particularly difficult season. Twelve months on, and they’re heading back there as National League 2 North Champions. So no one can doubt that this year has been a success, but what did Head Coach, Giles Heagerty, really make of this year’s campaign? What pleased him most? Were there any disappointments and frustrations along the way? Did the Blues live up to the high expectations he set for the group at the start of the campaign? Is there still more to come? Well, here’s what Giles thinks.

What have you found particularly pleasing about this season, other than winning the league convincingly?

“I suppose the thing I’m most pleased about is the fact that this season has been the most successful in the Club’s history. Obviously it feels good to have been part of that particular piece of history. It’s been a massive achievement for everyone involved: not just players and management, but the Exec and the supporters too. It’s been a big year for the club, and I’m just pleased to have played my part.”

“In practical terms, I’m proud that we managed to produce a team that scored over 900 points in the league. Moreover, the way we managed to amass those points and the way we played has been very pleasing and satisfying as well. The character of the group, which we’ve spoken about frequently, has also been a massive positive this season. It’s this character and attitude which helped us tie up the league with 3 games to spare. So the players should be very proud of their achievements.”

Were you at all surprised by the level and consistency of performance during the season; or could you see the potential before the first whistle blew?

“I’ve always seen the potential in this squad, and knew that they could go on to achieve something special. Even last year when we got relegated, I knew that we had what it took to make a mark. We may not have fared as well as we would’ve liked last year, but we still played some excellent rugby at times. All we needed to do was make one or two adjustments, and we did that this season.”

“We still need to make one or two more adjustments, but you have to say that this is a fantastic group of players. We obviously need to bring in one or two other players to bolster the squad and provide a little more depth. Yet I know deep down the boys are capable of delivering again next year. There’s still more to come, and that excites me no end.”

Have there been any disappointments or frustrations this season?

“I think some of the officiating has left a bit to be desired. It’s not just me saying that either. It’s a sentiment echoed by a number of other coaches and directors of rugby in the league, given the conversations I’ve had. Fortunately, the RFU are now prepared to enter into dialogue, which is a massive improvement from where we have been in the past. The referees are also becoming a little more approachable and amenable to feedback, so that’s a step in the right direction.”

“The only thing that was a massive frustration was the weather, but that, too, was completely beyond our control. We always talk about controlling what we can; so if the only problems are issues beyond our control, I guess we’re in a pretty good place right now.”

What was the major issue with the officials? Was it the quality of decision-making or the apparent lack of consistency from game to game?

“I suppose it was mainly the lack of consistency. I know that rugby’s a dynamic game, and as a result the picture will always be changing. So I understand that really you shouldn’t get the same picture week-in week-out: you shouldn’t really get the same consistent picture during the course of a game because of the dynamic environment, I guess. However, what you are looking for is consistency in the quality of the decisions made.”

“I’ll give you an example. We’ve had edicts about neck rolls, which lay down strict and absolute rules; yet there’s inconsistency in how that is policed. That’s just one example off the top of my head. There are others I can assure you. However, I think it would be unfair to be too critical. All I would ask is that the team of 3 officials act more as a cohesive unit. As it stands I’m not sure that happens week-on-week.”

“If, and when it does, the game will definitely benefit in my opinion. I’m not asking for favours or for any bias: all coaches want is consistency. The officials are there to facilitate that and look after the safety and welfare of the players. If they can do that and function more as cohesive unit, then I think together we can go on to deliver a quality game of rugby.”


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🗣️Another 2 class acts are in for 24/25 🏉Danny has been a growing talent for the past few seasons and is now ready to fire into National League Rugby! 💥 All rounder Phil Laing is absolutely brilliant wherever he plays, a true club man and he’s ready to go! 💪Danny is kindly sponsored by the Mayfield’s 🙏Phil is open to sponsor 📧 #macclesfield #local #community #rugby #oneclub #maccrugby National League Rugby ... See MoreSee Less
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We still have places left for teams to get involved 🔗BOOK NOW:👀💰 £600 Prize for the Men’s Open & £250 for the women’s 7s winners! 🤩🥇🏆Don’t miss a great day of Rugby 🏉 & sport including our new 5 a side football ⚽️ offer! Also Lacrosse🥍 will be full swing on the Saturday for anyone interested in seeing what it’s all about! #rugby #rugbysevens #rugby7s #cashprizes #WalkingRugby #womensrugby #communityrugby #football #lacrosse #Macclesfield #cheshire #rugbyclub #camping ... See MoreSee Less
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The End of Season Awards were presented at the End of Season Ball 2024 - a fantastic evening celebrating the end of a successful season which saw the 1st XV crowned champions of Premier North and promoted to National League Rugby 2 West. Our Macclesfield Womens Rugby XV went (virtually) undefeated and will now move into their first league from the 24/25 season and the 2nd / 3rd Xv celebrated their league achievements too! With thanks to all who attended - and all our supporters and sponsors throughout the year. The event was held in aid of the Cardiac Risk in the Young - Onwards we go into the 150th year for the Club and bring on season 2024/25!!!Full list of winners below!Chairman’s Player of the Season 23/24 - Tom Burden 1stXV Players Player 23/24 - Harry Blackwell 1stXV Coaches Player 23/24 - Harry Blackwell 1stXV Most Improved 23/24 - Tom Jennings 2ndXV Players Player 23/24 - Ted Broadley2ndXV Coaches Player 23/24 - Hector Tomlinson 2ndXV Most Improved 23/24 - Carl Droy 2ndXV Young Player 23/24 - Haydn Keogh 3rdXV Players Player 23/24 - Mathew Price3rdXV Most Improved 23/24 - Rupert Dixon 3rdXV Captains Player 23/24 - Mike Dale Women’s Players Player 23/24 - Tiegan Shaw Women’s Players Player 23/24 - Liz JarrattWomen’s Coaches Player 23/24 - Julia Ashford Women’s Most Improved 23/24 - Annie James Bert Ashley tankard 23/24 - Mel BramleyWomen’s Best Newcomer 23/24 - Chloe Newbigging ... See MoreSee Less
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🗣️Welcome to the club Dan Leake, the ex Rotherham Titans & Sale FC winger will be aiming to pile up the points from September. 📈The club wishes you all the best Dan!👍👏💥Become Dan’s sponsor and get a shout out every time he scores or is mentioned on our feeds. 📧 #welcome #macclesfield #community #rugby #oneclub #newsigning #newkidintown #support #sponsorship #opportunity ... See MoreSee Less
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