Wids working hard ahead of new season
ALTHOUGH it is just over a month since the season ended, Widnes RUFC are already making plans for next season to make sure they hit the ground running when the new ‘Lancashire Leagues’ get under way.
Tick ‘n’ pass sessions have already commenced every Tuesday and Thursday evenings prior to the start of preseason training which begins on Tuesday, July 3.
To help with the early work will be fitness guru Graham Forshaw.
The ex-Wids man is flying in from his home in Australia for a month and has agreed to help out with the early fitness work to make sure the players are in tip-top condition come the start of the new campaign.
Also eager to make an early impression with the coaching staff will be the second-team, who have a pre-season fixture pencilled in against local rivals Wigan.
The club have also arranged a pre-season fixture against local rivals West Park on the afternoon of Saturday, August 18.
Not only will be an early opportunity to claim the local bragging rights against one of their closest rivals, the intention is that this fixture will be played every year and will be named the ‘John Ratcliffe Memorial Cup’.
On the same date, it will also be the Club’s Registration Day where new players are invited to come along and see what the Wids has on offer. ● Widnes RUFC have also received a generous donation ● from NatWest as part of their ‘Rugby Force’ initiative.
The money will be used towards carrying out various DIY jobs around the club, whether it be painting walls, repairing damage or just a general clean and tidy-up in readiness for the 2018-19 campaign.
It will take place on the weekend of June 23-24 and the club are asking for members to volunteer to come along and help out. ● Following on from the decision taken last month by a number of clubs – including Widnes RUFC and local rivals Liverpool St Helens and West Park – to leave South Lancashire Cheshire One and the current Rugby Football Union structure to go their own way – the new Lancashire County Rugby Union Leagues have begun to take shape.
Whilst the closing date for clubs to join remains open until tomorrow, the last few days has seen a flurry of activity, including the announcement of a new management committee and a new main sponsor.
In addition, a framework of how the new season will operate has been drawn up.
The management committee will consist of five group members who have been named as chairman Ian Spivey (Aldwinians), deputy chairman Gary Morgan (Liverpool Collegiate), competition secretary Howard Hughes (Tyldesley), Premier Division secre- tary Brian Hurst (Littleborough) and First Division Secretary Alan Whalley (Aldwinians).
Also, Wigan-based ADM Leisurewear, who have more than 20 years’ experience in supplying customised personalised clothing in the UK market, will sponsor the Leagues for the next two years.
The management committee have acknowledged that there may be some minor teething problems in the early days as the new League gets up and running, but have asked the founder clubs to take a leap of faith as they enter into this brave new world by providing them with a voice as well as a willingness to listen and be flexible as issues arise.
Paul McLindon in action during the last game between Widnes and West Park who are now set to compete for the John Ratcliffe Memorial Cup in August.