Wad­sco club rugby zone Club spirit es­sen­tial

Marlborough Midweek - - Front Page -

start to go wrong, it can be a very lonely place.

My first club stint was at Belfast as a player and coach and we were strug­gling. I re­mem­ber say­ing to them, if you roll your sleeves up and do what we ask of you, then I’ll take you any­where in the world you want to go. They looked at me in­cred­u­lously, went away to think about it for a cou­ple of weeks, and then came back and said they wanted to go to Hong Kong for the Tens tour­na­ment. I still re­mem­ber all the fundrais­ing we did and af­ter I moved back to Marl­bor­ough, it be­came an an­nual trip for them.

The point is, noth­ing is un­achiev­able – it all de­pends on the will of the people driv­ing the clubs. I feel for the people run­ning clubs be­cause they have to deal with a lot of is­sues, and many of them are things we didn’t have to face back in my club days.

The key one is time. So­ci­ety has changed, em­ploy­ers have greater ex­pec­ta­tions and fam­ily life takes a lot more. I don’t claim any ex­per­tise other than a rugby man, but I know clubs have to work very hard to bring people in and keep them happy, but it can be done.

Good club ad­min­is­tra­tors and vol­un­teers have my ad­mi­ra­tion be­cause they Unity: Waitohi prop Ross Gelden­huys has gal­vanised the team into a win­ning unit. give up a lot of their own time and club rugby wouldn’t sur­vive with­out them.

I look at a club like Waitohi which has had a lot of suc­cess this sea­son. Their South African Su­per rugby prop Ross Gelden­huys has gal­vanised the team and leads well, but the star of that team isn’t Ross and he’d be the first to ad­mit it. The star of Waitohi is the team. They play for each other and when the turn­ing point of a game comes, their play­ers step up.

My spies told me that they dom­i­nated Kahu­rangi up front in their 36-24 win on Satur­day, but Kahu­rangi was live­lier in the out­side backs and they just kept com­ing back. They showed a lot of spirit and that’s great to see from a young team who bring some much-needed enthusiasm.

Photo: SCOTT HAM­MOND/FAIR­FAX NZ

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