Open­ing six matches will be so im­por­tant for us – Wood

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life -

FIRWOOD WATER­LOO open their ac­count in North One West this Satur­day at home to Al­trin­cham Ker­sal.

“We have had a good pre-sea­son and al­though we have brought in a large num­ber of new play­ers we have looked at some com­bi­na­tions over our two warm-up games, at home to Wir­ral and away at Pre­ston Grasshop­pers last Thurs­day,” ex­plained di­rec­tor of rugby Steve Wood.

“Fol­low­ing three 30-minute ses­sions against a very good Wir­ral out­fit which gave us a good in­di­ca­tion of what we needed to work on, we had two train­ing sea­sons be­fore mov­ing on to Pre­ston,” Wood con­tin­ued.

“Here we were far more aware of what we are look­ing for in our start com­bi­na­tions and I also thought our de­fence was solid against a use­ful side who were ea­ger to im­press their new coach fol­low­ing rel­e­ga­tion at the end of last sea­son.”

Since an­nounc­ing some sign­ings ear­lier in the close sea­son, Water­loo have now added three for­mer rugby league play­ers to their ranks – Josh Swift a back-row or cen­tre and Adam Wilks also a back-rower, both from am­a­teur club Leigh East, plus Scott David­son, a lock-for­ward from St He­lens club Black­brook.

They have also signed Alex Vowles-Bradley, an out­side half from Fylde.

Con­tin­ued Wood: “These are top sign­ings for us and will add to the over­all strength of our squad. We have oth­ers in the pipe­line and they will be an­nounced in due course.”

Look­ing at the sea­son ahead Wood was keen to em­pha­sise the im­por­tance of the open­ing two months.

“We kick off on Satur­day at home to Al­trin­cham Ker­sal.

“This is go­ing to be a tough fix­ture but we know that our open­ing six games are go­ing to be cru­cial if we are to make a fair fist of this cam­paign, par­tic­u­larly as we want to play good open rugby.

“We are pos­i­tive that we can do well and if we can get some early wins we will grow in con­fi­dence.

As­sess­ing the ‘Blun­dell­sands ef­fect’, Wood added: “We know that clubs com­ing here will see Water­loo as an im­por­tant scalp so it is crit­i­cal that we get down to busi­ness straight from the kick-off and let sides know what we are about.”

Steve Billing­ton

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