Junior Section Meeting – Tuesday 6th September 7.30pm

FAO: Junior Section Coaches and Managers

The next meeting of the Junior Section will take place on Tuesday 6th September at 7.30pm.

Please try to send a representative from each team.

If you have any spare playing shirts in your possession, please bring them to the meeting so that they can be redistributed to those in need.

Kindly inform Paul or Andrea in advance of the meeting if you have items for discussion.


Junior section meeting- Tuesday 5th July

There will be a meeting on Tuesday 5th July at 7pm at the club for all junior and mini  coaches and managers. It would be much appreciated if a representative  from each team could attend.

The aim of the meeting is to aid planning/ coaching for next season.

A mail will go out to coaches shortly and the agenda will be posted on the website next week.  Continue reading

Under 7s Presentation – 10th May 2015

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”.


Under 7s Training – 3rd May 2015

What an interesting session!!!!!!

We had not one, not two but three “newbies” although they would all be 14 years older than the requisite “7 or under” to classify as an official U7. U21s perhaps?

From the start the competitive edge was apparent. The first few warm up exercises were taken easily and then came the shuttle runs. As the participants milled around on the starting line, Kirsty (U21) took her place in the starting blocks, poised like a coiled spring. On the “GO” (or was it B of the BANG) she exploded into action. For the first three steps she headed the field, flying elbows to ensure nobody could get past but then … sabotage!!!! A clash of legs, arms, bodies (not sure which) caused a pile up (with poor Kirsty at the bottom … eeek)

Note. The rest of the warm up was uneventful although the newly formed U21s were now looking a little out of breath.

Up next was some ball drills, simple pop passing, (well executed I may add by U7s and U21s alike) and then the old “hokey cokey” drill (under, over, left right) where I wasn’t quite sure if the screams from Vicki (U21) and Carly (U21) were encouraging or threatening (either way was quite scary!)

We finished the training part of the session with some fox and hounds pitting parent against child (not fair on the parents I know). At this point I did ask Andy B is he wanted to join in but he declined saying “Kirsty is doing a fantastic job!”

To end the session (and the season for that matter) we had the traditionally Kids vs Parents finale. The U7s followed their normal rules and the Parents were limited to 3 steps with the ball.

As is usual in matches the U7s started on the back foot, still in the changing rooms and half asleep! When added to some excellent handling by the parents (and older brothers of Peggy and Finley) they quickly stormed into a 2-0 lead. Then can a surge from the U7s, some quick thinking by Josh and a lapse in concentration by the defence saw Peggy go over in the corner. Josh, in the thick of things, also got on the score sheet after a mazy run.

Family rivalries came to the fore as first Finley and then Peggy took big hits from their older siblings. Vicki shrugged of the attentions of Oliver to score, not once but twice (the second was almost a full length dive for the line but managed to keep her feet). Kirsty also made a break after sidestepping Sam to sprint the full length of the field, the determination on her face was a sight to behold as she dived for the line. Just before her celebrations could begin the referee reminded that it was a 3 not 33 step rule and the try was disallowed. (Sorry!!!)

With the parents starting to run rampant, the game needed to be evened up. The referee joined the U7s and turned the game on its head. First an interception brought the U7s to within a single try and then the coach following Peggy’s line break was the first to support and get the touch down.

With the clock ticking down, was there time for a winner … NO!!!! The game ended in a draw and a fitting way to end the season.

I would like to thank all the parents, brothers and sisters that joined in with the session and game at the end. I hope you all enjoyed it and was not aching too much on Monday.

Next Sunday is the presentation, 10:30 for an 11:00 start


Under 7s v Broughton Park – Away – 26th April 2015

The final game of the season! With fitting weather for such an occasion, glorious sunshine (but a chilly breeze) the U7s took to the field for the last time.

The split this week was determined by age. Broughton Park had numbers at U6 and U7 so we fielded half of a U6 team consisting of Daniel, Josh, and Oliver and a very strong U7s team with Finley, Flynn, Peggy, Sandy and Tyler.

Under 6s
Whilst most of my time was spent with the U7s, I did get a few minutes watching the 3 U6s in action. BP provided two players (have not go their names but a big thank-you goes out to them) and the BP coaches. All players seemed to revel in the competitive battle. Oliver’s straight running, Daniels energetic chasing and harrying and Josh’s pace, power and eye for the try line was good to see.

Under 7s
Organisation, organisation and organisation was the key today and this was nothing to do with me!!!

Captain Super Peggs took the team by the scruff of the neck and marshalled them expertly for both games. On each occasion (as per the previous match) the line perfectly formed ready for the next BP attack. Such was her control and to my amazement she held the team in a perfect line and slowly advanced, in formation, to thwart the BP attack time and time again.

The strong balanced runs from both Sandy and Tyler kept the scoreboard ticking over nicely and with Finley, Flynn and Peggy also adding to the tally BP were simply out gunned in attack and totally frustrated the opposition in defence.

The quick off-loads were evident as the support play from all of the Eccles team was exceptional. If one match was to be used as an example of what has been learned over the season and how to play free flowing Under 7s rugby this was it. Overall I think this was the most complete performance of the season and using the old adage, “we saved the best till last”.

STAR OF THE WEEK. This week we have a star for the U6s and one for the U7s.

In my glances over to the direction of the U6 pitches one moment stood out and gains the STAR OF THE WEEK award. From a restart Josh received the ball on the far left. Without moving he seemed to psyche out the opposing defender akin to a penalty taker vs a goalkeeper in football. All it took was a quick glance to the right making the defender step inside followed a lightening start out of the blocks taking him past the defender and showing a clean pair of heels to go in at the corner. Well done Josh!

Towards the end of the second U7s game I had more or less decided, based on the whole team performance, to give everyone a star. However, one person, not an Eccles person, changed that opinion. Kevin, the referee and coach of BP, commented on the defensive organisation not once, not twice but three times using the perfect Eccles defensive line as an example as he lamented his own team for their defensive frailties. Complements like that are always nice to hear and for that reason, STAR OF THE WEEK goes to chief organiser and team captain, Peggy. Outstanding performance and well done!

Many thanks for those who were able to join the midweek training session.

Next week, Sunday 3rd May, is the last Sunday session of the season. The plan is to do a little “typical” training followed by the annual grudge match of Kids vs Parents. Bring your boots and no biting, gouging or punching!!!!!

See you on Sunday


Under 7s Training – 19th April 2015

Due to the Manchester marathon, the planned game against Ashton-on-Mersey was called off so a training session on the Astroturf at Gorton Street was the order of the day … or was it! Unbeknown to the U7s and U8s, a football match (yes, football!!) had been arranged on the Astroturf so a change of location had to be made.

This week, Issy, Josh’s sister joined in and we had a new starter in George. Welcome both. In addition it was good to see Oliver back at Eccles after a long absence due to illness.

The session included some Fox&Hounds, Reds&Blues and some slalom ball drills. The session ended with the numbers game that threw up some interesting 1-1 matches.

Sandy vs Michael
An intriguing battle with Michael attempting the spectacular and Sandy waiting for the mistake before pouncing.

Peggy vs Issy
Impeccable mannered approach combined with ruthless lady-like aggression from them both. Wow

Sam vs Lola
The cheeky imp showing no signs of chivalry in this match. Lola was as polite as ever!

Oliver vs Josh
Oliver back with a bang showing no ill effects. Josh getting stuck in!

George vs Jaye
Total mismatch in speedster George’s favour. Jaye took to trying to catch the ball high above George’s head. Is that not cheating Jaye?

STAR OF THE WEEK. This week it goes for his performance in the numbers game. For a cool, calm and measured approach then waiting for the perfect moment to pounce on the ball. STAR OF THE WEEK goes to Sandy. Well done.

On Wednesday we held our first midweek session, which was very well attended. In a change to the planned session, the tackle shields were out giving chance to let off some steam. Hope you enjoyed it.

Next Sunday, 26th April, we have the final game of the season. We are away at Broughton Park with the usual start of 10:30. The ground is just off Mauldeth rd (opposite the petrol garage)

Broughton Park RUFC
Address: 2 Houghend Crescent, Manchester, Lancashire M21 7TL
Tel: 0161 861 0854

See you next week


Under 7s v Bury – Away – 12th April 2015

Stating “Spring had Sprung” in the last match report may have been a little premature! The weather at Bury was more reminiscent of Winter than Spring as a bitterly cold wind whistled across the open fields. We were also still in the middle of the Easter holidays and when added to those that were ill the squad was down to a measly 4 players. Bury in comparison, also affected by the similar holidays/illness losing 9 of their squad, were still able to field 3 teams with subs. Impressive numbers!

We have had no games on the previous two Sundays (water logged pitch at Leigh and Easter Sunday) and so I was expecting a little rustiness. The team of 4, Max, Michael, Peggy and Sandy took to the field to compete in not 1, 2 or 3 but 4 games.

Game 1

The predicted rustiness came to the fore! The defensive line was not at its best and the tagging was none existent. The strong running was still there though demonstrated by powerful runs from Sandy, jinky sidesteps from Michael and fantastic tag evading hip flicks from Peggy. There was also excellent attacking support play with Max constantly being in the right place at the right time to take the pop ball.

The tagging was the telling factor in this game and by my calculation we lost the match 7-5

Game 2

U7_150412_1Perfect! The second game against a new set of Bury players was much better all round. The tagging came back, the defensive line improved, being marshalled by Peggy without any prompting and a number of turnovers were forced.The attacking runs and excellent support play continued throughout the match with all players getting on the score sheet to run out comfortable winners 8-5


Game 3

By now the defensive rustiness was a distant memory as Eccles took the game to yet another new Bury side.“Super Sensational” was back to his determined best, Michael was ferreting for the ball and hassling the Bury attacks into mistakes. An arching run from Peggy and trademark hip flick took her past three of the four Bury players and into the corner for an excellent try.

Throughout the game Max was screaming for the ball. Quick thinking and a determined run saw him also cross the white wash.

Eccles took the honours 6-4

“Go on Max!!!”

Game 4

The final game saw a little tiredness creep in.  The tagging and defensive effort started to dwindle off. The attacking prowess however did not. In a try for try, blow for blow game a draw was the inevitable result, 4-4

STAR OF THE WEEK. All four players were extremely close this week and it is a difficult call. My choice is Max. His all round game has improved, his positioning in support throughout all 4 games was exceptional and has a fantastic attitude to rugby. Well done!

Next week, due to the Manchester marathon, the away game has been cancelled and instead it will be a training session, usual time of 10:30 at Gorton Street.

For the next three Wednesdays, 23rd, 30th April and 6th May we will be holding training sessions for the U7s. The sessions will start at 18:30 and run for an hour or so!


Under 7s Training – 22nd March 2015

All I can say is that Spring had sprung, a very pleasant morning indeed with bright sunshine, not bad for March as this very weekend 2 years ago we had almost 8 inches of snow.

The session began with a warm up of “some sort” with Gav and Danny at the help … where wheelbarrow races came from I have no idea but was amusing to watch.

We then switched to a small square with some chasing/tagging. Michael was paired with yours truly and did an excellent job of closing down the square making me run and on the flip side evading me when I was trying to get his tags.

As I crawled of the field for a much needed rest, Gav took my place in a game of fox and hounds from both standing and lying start positions. Following on, we then had a number of ball handling/passing drills which in the main were executed well.

With only 7 at training we finished with a 4 v 4 game (Danny making up the numbers) that quickly became a 5 v 5 as two other big kids joined in.

The highlight of this week was a run by Sam. As per the rules of the game all players had touched the ball and Sam was 5 yards short of the try line. On receiving the ball he ran towards and crossed his own try line with the opposition chasing before a quick shimmy, the odd dodge plus a body swerve (if somebody two foot six can body swerve) taking him through the whole team to score in the corner (at the correct end of the pitch). Impressive … Yes but don’t do it in a game!

STAR OF THE WEEK. Purely and simply for the above, Sam gets STAR OF THE WEEK. Class … Well done! (Kirsty, you need to get him a compass to make sure he goes in the right direction!)

Next week we start the series of four away games to finish the season. We are away at Leigh with the usual start of 10:30.

Leigh RUFC
Address: Round Ash Park/Hand La, Leigh WN7 3NA
Tel: 01942 673526

See you next week


Under 7s v Tyldsley – 15th March 2015

For our last home game of the season we hosted local rivals Tyldsley

With a few players missing we only had 6, Tyldsley had a couple more so the decision was 2 matches at once, 1 borrowed player from the U8s and one from Tyldsley.

Team A consisted of Daniel, Peggy, Tyler and Harry managed my myself

The first game was a ding dong affair with excellent handling and support play from both teams.
Tyler was his usual evasive self, “captain for the day” Harry’s no nonsense straight running took the game to Tyldsley and Peggy, as always, marshalled and organised the team, constantly calling the defensive line.

Daniel, in his first competitive game for Eccles had a “blinder”! He scored on several occasions, dodging through the Tyldsley defence to touch down. He also was a veritable “Tag Monster” and at one point took 4 tags from different players in the space of about 10 seconds. Excellent defence

With very few turnovers the game I concluded that the game was a draw.

In the second game, Eccles forced a number of turnovers with Harry being first to the loose ball more often than not. For this reason I think we shaded the game.

Team 1 consisted of Finley, Michael, Sandy plus Tyler (first game) and Gabs (second game) from Tyldsley

From all accounts the Eccles trio held their own in two very close games.

STAR OF THE WEEK goes to Daniel for an overall excellent performance on his debut. Well done!

A big thank-you to Tyler and Gabs for making up the numbers for Eccles.

Next week we are back at training, usual time of 10:30 at Gorton Street.


Under 7s Training – 8th March 2015

After a much improved performance against Trafford we were back to training with the emphasis more on enjoyment than the hard work from the previous training session.

A big Eccles welcome to Daniel on his first (of hopefully many) session at Eccles and also to Lola who joined in.

The session was mainly team games, shuttles with the ball, passing and tagging drills and finished with a numbers game. Everyone had smiles on their faces for the duration which was good to see.

STAR OF THE WEEK. There were a number of highlights this week … Peggy was demonstrating her slinky skills avoiding being tagged and Daniel’s catching in the numbers game under the high ball was impressive. However STAR OF THE WEEK for much improved concentration is Josh. Well done

See you next week