Well its done, dusted and over for another season. Please find below a summary of what I should have said at the U7s presentation (from my notes) rather than what I may have said …
The Story of the Season
We had a difficult start to the season, With those at U8 moving on and the group going from 20+ players down to 5 or 6. With a few new additions we have maintained a steady 7 or 8 players plus a couple too young to play competitive TAG rugby.
Very early on we represented Eccles at the Rossendale tournament. We had, on paper, a strong side with 4 players who had played U7s the year before plus two new recruits. On the day it was a different matter, sickness and the decision to leave the rugby club for two of the veterans left us just able to raise a team, no subs and two players thrown in at the deep end!
Was it the deep end or middle of the middle of the Atlantic, either way it was a baptism of fire as we faced Bolton in the first game. The whole Bolton team were head and shoulders taller than any of the Eccles players and we became intimidated by the aggressive, in your face, always offside style of rugby. This was a sign of things to come in the two other games against Bolton. After 9 minutes of being on the back foot and behind by 7 tries to none Finley in his first game made a break to score in the corner.
The other games in the tournament were much closer, losing by no more than 1 solitary try. Ultimately the results put us into the fourth place playoffs and with some new found confidence we played excellent rugby to win the section final.
Throughout the season I believe that we have had three lows, the three games against Bolton. The first at the tournament above was simply “shock and awe” and something that we remembered on the following two meetings. The disappointment was that in the second game we played the better rugby with passing, support play and strong running to their individual long range tries. The final game against Bolton I expected a sterling performance due to the fine form displayed in previous games. Again we seemed intimidated and just capitulated.
Overall our rugby improved no-end over the course of the season. We had notable performances against Bury, Leigh, Trafford and Ashton on Mersey Under 8s. In my opinion we saved the best for last!
The final game of the season, on a sunny morning in Chorlton, we played two Broughton Park teams. Without wanting to “go over the top” we played both teams off the park (no pun intended). Every single aspect of our game came together. Concentration was good from everyone, support play was excellent, quick ball feed from the tag, a disciplined defensive line (commented on by both BP coaches) and determined tagging. Overall a superb performance but more importantly we attacked, defended and played as a whole team.
Now to the U7s awards
Bronze Award – Most Improved Player
Firstly every single player in the squad has improved over the season but this award goes to the person I think has developed more than others.
This person had a quiet, shy start to Eccles life but their attitude and attentiveness in training was always noticeable, taking onboard comments and instructions to improve their game.
His defining game of the season was Bury away where his positioning and support play saw him dominate and control each and every game.
The bronze award goes to Max. Congratulations and well done!
Silver Award – U7s Clubman
This award is based on statistics eg attendance, STARS OF THE WEEK etc
The winner has been the joint top attender and has the most STARS (5). His attitude is usually good however he has had a couple of scuffles, at Bolton and Trafford( but they can be forgiven as he did win them!)
Whilst I don’t record the exact number of tries we score/concede I would hazard a guess he is somewhere near the top (more likely THE top)
He has earned and lives up to the tag line “Super Sensational”
The silver award goes to Sandy. Congratulations and well done!
Gold Award – Players Player
The players player is voted for amongst the squad. Each player selects a 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice and the winner is the one with the most votes.
This year we have a runaway winner! How you may ask …
My investigations indicate that he set up his own campaign office, sought sponsorship from billionaires and went round his constituency canvassing votes promising reciprocal votes in return … ingenious but could not possibly keep all his promises.
He is also the only person I know that can start of being the last into the ruck/pile on, but then end up at the bottom coming up with the ball.
Rumour has it he is half boy, half ferret and that at least two major political parties are head hunting him to become their new leader!
All we know is that the winner of the gold award and this year’s players player is Michael. Congratulations and well done!
All good things must come to an end …
Before I complete the last report for the season, I would like to mention the squad makeup and the probable numbers for next season.
There are currently 12 players that have attended/attending on a regular basis which breaks down next year:
Under 8s 6 players
Under 7s 4 players
Under 6s 2 players
The above means we can just scrape together one U7s (4 players required) and one U8s (6 players required) team. At the end of last season we had 20+ in the U7s. Can you please all attempt to recruit friends, school mates, brothers, sisters, parents (well may be not parents) to swell the above numbers
Finally (yes I know this has gone on a little!) I know it isn’t easy to stand around in the cold/wet while the kids run around like headless chickens (sometimes) but I would like to thank you all for you support of Eccles RFC, the under 7s team and myself over the season. Much appreciated!
Just before I sign off, to Daniel, Finley, Flynn, Josh, Lola, Max, Michael, Oliver, Peggy, Sam, Sandy and Tyler I would like to say …
“I am proud of how far you all have come this season, the improvement is there for all to see and I am sure your parents agree. At the start of the season it was very much a group of individuals playing individual rugby. The last match proved to all that you are now a team with great spirit and enthusiasm.
I hope you have enjoyed playing for Eccles this season as much as I have enjoyed coaching you , have a great summer holiday and return ready and raring to go in September”.