Eccles RFC are delighted to announce the return of former player Martin ‘Tommo’ Thompson.
DOR/ Head Coach Sam Simpson had this to say about the latest Senior recruitment – “I’m very happy Tommo has decided to join Eccles RFC for the 2018/19 season. Although he’s going to raise the average age of the squad considerably! – Haha – I believe he’s still got a lot to offer as a player and a mentor to the younger lads in the squad. Tommo is an uncompromising ball carrier, always finding himself on the correct side of the gain line. This aggressive style carries over into his defensive work. If Tommo hits you, you stay hit! He has a wealth of Rugby experience, in both League and Union, and it’s here, developing the mindsets of the younger lads in the squad, that I see the bigger impact of his return.”
Tommo had this to say – “I’m delighted that Sam has asked me to return to play for Eccles next season. I originally joined the club in 2009 after moving to Manchester from Edinburgh where I had played for Foresters RUFC. Eccles is a great family club and this was evident when my wife, Abi, and I joined. Since moving away to Lancashire in 2012 I have played for Rossendale RUFC’s second team, enjoying my rugby, and helping them to win the League One title and Cup in the 2016/17 season.
Unfortunately at the start of the 2017/18 season I got injured and was unable to play. Since then I have been getting myself back to fitness, but have been considering retirement. However, after meeting with Sam and discussing how I could be involved again at Eccles, I am now looking forward to playing alongside some great friends and helping to bring on the talented youth Eccles have.”
Eccles RFC are delighted to welcome Neil Hayden to Gorton Street in the role of Assistant Coach, to work with Director of Rugby and Head Coach, Sam Simpson.
Salford-born Neil was a professional Rugby League Player for 9 years but had to retire 10 years ago at the age of 25 due to injury. He’s coached under 19’s Rugby League for the past 19 years at Amateur and College level and is currently Director of The Rugby College and Manager of the Swinton Lions Foundation.
Sam Simpson –“Neil is a vastly experienced professional Rugby League Coach, who will bring a wealth of experience to Eccles from his time as a professional player with Widnes Vikings and as a coach with Swinton Lions. Although this is Neil’s first time working with the opposite code I believe he’ll help the Squad develop massively, particularly in their attacking shape where he’ll be focusing a lot of his attention. I’m very happy Neil has taken the opportunity to work with Eccles RFC for the 2018/19 season and I’m looking forward to working closely with him”.
Neil Hayden – “I was greatly pleased when asked by Sam Simpson to come on board to work with him and hear his enthusiasm for where I’ll fit into his backroom staff. I’m really looking forward to putting my style of play on Eccles and helping the club to fulfil its potential.”
Eccles RFC take great pleasure in announcing the return of former 1XV player Adam Wilkinson.
Sam Simpson, Eccles RFC Director of Rugby and Head Coach, made this statement on the signing –“I’m delighted Eccles have been able to recruit a player of Adam’s quality. I know Adam’s game very well from our time together playing Junior and Colts Rugby at Eccles and later, as his coach, where he was part of the promotion-winning Eccles RFC team that ascended to Level 6 of the RFU league system.Adam is a fantastic outside back, comfortable across all the back three shirts, as well as at 13 and brings with him a wealth of experience after representing England for the national Police team. I believe he’ll be a great asset during the 2018/19 season both in attack and defensive and I’m certain the supporters will enjoy seeing him back in the blue and white hoops.”
Adam, a Salford-born Police Officer, added “It’s been a while but finally I’m back. After watching my dad play at Eccles from a very young age, I came through the ranks and broke into the 1st XV at 18yrs old. I was 1st XV vice-captain at 20yrs and loved helping the club climb up the leagues.
Work took over and saw me leave for a period of time, during which I played for the England Police rugby team. I was made vice captain of the England Police team during a successful 2016/17 season, playing with some great players, and was due to carry on in the role last season. However, for the last 12 months I’ve been unfortunate to be suffering clinical depression. It’s been a very difficult time, which is ongoing, but I’m through the worst. It can happen to anyone at anytime and it’s important that people know they can speak out about it.
I played a few games for Trafford MV last season. They really helped me and are a great set of lads so I wish them all the luck next season, but I’ve decided it’s time to return to Eccles. So here I am. I can’t wait to get started, let’s make this season a big one. I’m home!!!”
Preparations for the new Senior season are well underway. The Ladies have already commenced their pre-season training and are reporting good numbers.
Men’s pre-season training will begin on July 10th and with it will come a change to Tuesday and Thursday evenings 19.00 -20.30.
It’s hoped the switch from Monday/Wednesday will provide an additional day of recovery for knocks and injuries incurred by Seniors on a Saturday; encourage Colts participation who play on a Sunday afternoon; and enable attendance of College and University students who play on Wednesdays.
The decision for Mens and Ladies squads to train on the same evenings has been reached following consultation between coaches and with the aim of making better use of the club’s facilities and physios, and to improve general collaboration and socialisation between the sections.
We hope to welcome many new faces to Gorton Street over the next few months. Eccles are actively looking to recruit players this summer and the club’s ‘Men Wanted’ film has already achieved over 2,000 views on Twitter/Vimeo and almost 9,000 views Facebook. If you’re interested in playing at Eccles join us at pre-season training or get in touch at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Glastonbury may be cancelled this summer, but thankfully you can still get your fix of epic outdoor live performances when Eccles RFC hosts its own End of Season Weekender on 28th and 29th April. The 2-day event will not only mark the end of the Men’s 2017/18 rugby season but will also be a celebration of two notable events for the Ladies and Colts sections:
Saturday 28th April
21 YEARS OF ECCLES RFC LADIES RUGBY
VIP SPONSORS DAY
KO 3pm – Eccles 2XV v Littleborough 2XV
KO 5pm – Eccles Ladies 1XV v Eccles Ladies Select XXI
Evening entertainment in the clubhouse will feature a presentation by the Ladies Captain and hopefully the return of the Men’s 1XV team with a victory from Tarleton.
Sunday 29th April
LANCASHIRE RFU COLTS FINALS 2018
Eccles RFC host a celebration of the county’s finest youth teams.
Eccles U17 v Kirkby Lonsdale U17 in the Junior Colts Trophy Final, KO 11am.
Heaton Moor U17 v Blackburn U17
West Park St Helens U18 v Widnes U18
Littleborough U18 v TBC
Presentations will take place on the Royal Balcony.
We hope ECCLESFEST will be a big social gathering for the whole club and have the clubhouse and grounds at full capacity. All club members, past and present, Ladies, Seniors, Colts, Juniors and their families are welcome and encouraged to come down and enjoy the rugby on both days. Wellies, denim cut offs, cowboy hats and shades are all permitted dress code. There will food, drinks and toilets available. No camping. No ticket touts. More details to follow. #EcclesFest2018
Tomorrow’s 1XV game away at Trafford MV will kick off at 14:15. The 2XV game at home to Vale of Lune will kick off at 15:00. We’ll all be rendezvousing in the clubhouse for the France vs. England game, kicking off at 16:45. The Ireland vs. Scotland game will be recorded and shown after the England game.
An engaging match with plenty of attacking action from both teams, where Eccles competed but ultimately capitulated, failing to hold onto a lead and losing to a ‘last play’ try.
Eccles began brightly in the winter sun and went ahead within 2 minutes when Matt Swain slotted home a 35-metre penalty; 3-0. The opening exchanges established an evenly balanced contest with both opponents testing each other’s resolve. At 12 minutes, with Eccles in an advanced position, a missed tackle allowed the Hawcoat Park Lock to break clean through the centre of the line and charge 30 or more metres unopposed, before timing his pass to a supporting forward who in turn fed the winger, who applied the gas to finish and claim the opening try for the visitors; converted 3-7. Eccles responded straight from the restart with a second successful penalty goal kicked by Swain, awarded in the middle of the pitch for not releasing; 6-7. At 30 minutes the Eccles forwards had the Hawcoat defence on the ropes inside their 22 but were unable to break through the try-line bockade using Sean Griffin’s grid. Having soaked up this pressure Hawcoat Park were to finish the first half the stronger. At 35 minutes, another counter attack break through the centre looked certain to end in a second try for the visitors, when a last ditch tackle from Chris Fortune halted the grounding and the ball was ruled to be ‘held up’ under a pile of bodies by the referee. The last act of the first half was a 30-metre Hawcoat penalty goal to regain their 4-point lead at the break. HT 6-10.
Eccles started the second half with more belief and determination. Hawcoat’s previously impenetrable defence began to crumble under pressure and for 20 minutes Eccles dominated attacking possession and asserted authority over the game. With 49 minutes played, a sequence of scrums on the right flank 10 metres out, lead to a tap penalty from which Captain Nick Spooner smashed through tacklers to score to the right of the posts to put Eccles narrowly ahead; 11-10. Six minutes later, play is stretched out wide by Eccles, and Chris Fortune crashes over to score a try to the left of the posts; 16-10. The third Eccles try on 60 minutes came from Fly-Half Swain who swerved his opponent to break clean through and offload to supporting centre Fortune, who out paced the defence on the right to score his second try; 21-10. Non of these tries were converted but with 10 minutes left to play Eccles looked comfortably in control.
Somehow, through hurried decisions and unnecessary penalties managed to invite Hawcoat back into the match. At 73 minutes Hawcoat took a clean line-out catch and got their maul driving for the line, resulting in an unstoppable try out wide putting the score at 21-15. Following the restart Eccles fail to keep play in the opposition half and gifted an opportunity to the visitors to utilise their effective line out again from an almost identical position. With ‘last play’ indicated by the referee, Hawcoat repeated their driving maul, which collapsed, but their tighthead prop takes a crash ball and to his credit forces his way through the packed Eccles defence to score under the posts; the Fly-Half calmly kicks the conversation to claim the one point victory. Hands to heads. FT Final score 21-22.
Ok. Bite on a tea towel, this will not take long. Dismal weather. Equally gloomy Eccles performance. Due to unplayable pitches at Oldham, the game was switched to Gorton Street and the pitch alongside the cheerless M60. Eccles kicked off into touch, handing possession straight to Oldham with a scrum on the half way line. This was to be the furthest forward that Eccles would achieve for the first 40 minutes. The visitors pinned Eccles into their own half for the entire first half. Sustained pressure eventually lead to an Oldham Try on 14 minutes. Eccles toiled away but were unable to build any forward momentum. HT 0-7.
The half time talk appeared to lift spirits and Eccles made a more positive start to the second period, but the game continued to be played in the main in the middle of the park which began to resemble the Somme. Despite an improvement in competitiveness and possession Eccles were only able to mount one serious attack which took them briefly into the opposition 22. Eccles were unable to restrain their opponents and their exertions to even the score, combined with Oldham’s greater endeavour resulted in a second try late into the game for the visitors on 75 mins, which saw Mike Shaw and Sean Baines collide with the goal post in a brave attempt to prevent the score. The referee ended the misery shortly after. FT 0-14.