Walkers unite

Sale Sarks WALKING RUGBY FESTIVAL takes place 12pm – 3pm, Saturday 11th August. If you’re interested in playing and forming an Eccles RFC team, or coming along to support, please contact Hilary Berry hilary.berry@hotmail.co.uk for more information.

New Committee 2018/19

At the AGM in June a proposal was put forward and accepted that only the Officers of the club should be elected on the night, and the rest of the committee should be appointed at a later date, following review and discussion. Duly the following Officers were appointed:

President – Paul Thorpe
Chairman – Mark Greenhalgh
Secretary – Mark Baines
Treasurer – Mike Bateman
Fixtures Secretary – Don Edmondson
Club Captain – Mark Greenhalgh

Over the last few weeks I’ve been speaking to members from various sections of the club to gather their thoughts and feedback on Committee and how it operates. The vast majority of that feedback is that they are happy and thankful for the Committee’s efforts, but there were two opportunities for improvement that were mentioned on a number of occasions:

  1. Committee meetings put too much focus on reporting on what has already happened, rather than forward thinking.
  2. There are too many people at Committee meetings and/or they last too long, which is discouraging new people from getting involved.
Based on this I met with my fellow appointed Officers to discuss how we can address these concerns. Below is our proposal:
  1. There will be no reporting in Committee meetings. Reports from each section will be provided by and distributed to all other sections by email.
  2. Committee meetings will focus on club-level objectives, plans and events. Objectives will be agreed in the first meeting of the season and progress monitored each month.
  3. More focus will be placed on sub-committees, to discuss the topics relevant to them in more detail. The frequency and attendance of sub-committee meetings will be monitored by the Committee. The make up of new and existing sub-committees will be confirmed in due course.
  4. The mandatory attendees at each Committee meeting will be:
    • President – Paul Thorpe
    • Past President – Andy Brunt
    • Chairman – Mark Greenhalgh
    • Secretary – Mark Baines
    • Assistant Secretary – Heather Thorpe
    • Treasurer – Mike Bateman
    • Marketing & Comms Officer – Chris Gaffey
    • Men’s Rugby (including Colts) Rep – Sam Simpson
    • Women and Girls’ Rugby Rep – Katie Houghton
    • Mini and Juniors’ Rep – Paul Fleming
    • Ground and Pavilion Rep – Ted Nicholls
    • House and Social Rep – TBC
    • Duke of Edinburgh Rep – Hilary Berry

The new attendance structure ensures that each section of the club is represented while keeping the attendance as efficient as possible. Any club member is still welcome to attend Committee meetings should they wish to.

The proposal was reviewed by the previous and potential Committee members, and accepted unanimously. The attendees will be invited to the first meeting of the new Committee on Monday 6th August.

I believe that these changes will address the issues raised, continue to support the inclusivity of all sections which we value so highly, and put us in a strong position to move forward. I am excited to work as part of the new Committee and looking forward to what we can achieve this season.


Mark Greenhalgh

U13’s summer training.

Well, now the excitement of the World Cup has died (unlucky England!)……

It’s time for the U13’s to start their pre-season fitness training!

THIS SUNDAY, 15th JULY; 10.30am….. on the artificial grass.

Open to all …… including new players, parents and siblings!

No rugby kit needed (just yet!), just trainers, shorts and plenty of energy!

Separate changing facilities available.

Hope to see as many as possible down!



Oates returns

Eccles RFC are delighted to welcome back Cameron Oates to Gorton Street.

DOR/Head Coach Sam Simpson had this to say about the latest recruit – “It’s brilliant to have Cammy commit to Eccles RFC for the 2018/19 season. He’s a fantastic fullback with a real desire to get his hands on the ball and get over the try line. He has some fantastic lines of running in his locker and manages to always be on the shoulder of someone breaking the defensive line. Cammy is no stranger to Gorton Street having spent lots of his childhood watching his Father Thomas McGuigan and his Uncle Jimmy McGuigan play for a number of the Eccles senior teams in the early 2000s as well as pulling the blue and white hoops on himself as a Mini’s/Junior and Colt, winning age grade Lancashire representative honours as well as helping his Eccles team to Lancashire cup glory.” 

Salford-born Cammy had this to say – ‘Having watched my dad and uncle play at Eccles whilst growing up I spent most of my Saturdays down at Gorton Street so I am looking forward to following in their footsteps and hopefully playing 1st team this season. In the past 2 years or so I have been struggling with numerous injuries, some of which resulted in operations but after playing a full season of rugby league this summer I am a lot fitter and looking forward for pre-season and the new rugby union season as a whole. I’m currently working as a barman at The Marriott Country Club in Worsley and will be starting studies at Manchester Metropolitan University in September”

Moldovan international Marius signs for Eccles

Eccles RFC take great pleasure in announcing the recruitment of Moldovan International Marius Pintilii.

Sam Simpson DOR/ Head Coach had this to say about the latest summer signing at Gorton Street –
Marius is a great signing for the club and I’m delighted he believes Eccles RFC is the right place to be for the next stage of his development. Marius is an athletic young man with great core strength which he probably owes to his background in Dance, which he taught in Moldova before coming to the UK. This makes him extremely good at the breakdown either playing at 7 or 13. His Rugby journey for such a short playing career has been remarkable, representing his country at both age grade 7s and open age after only playing the sport 12 months is really impressive and I’m really looking forward to coaching him to develop his Rugby knowledge and specialist positional skills to continue his progression.”

Marius had this to say on his arrival – “I have been firstly introduced to rugby in 2015 at Wythenshawe Rugby Club, where I received the basic ideas and skills of the sport itself. I initially played for the colts team and then joined the seniors team which was a whole new level and experience for me.
Last summer I was contacted by Moldova’s President of National Rugby Federation, Alexei Cotruta, who invited me to one of the U18’s training sessions in order to appreciate my profile as a rugby player. After a couple weeks of intense training and fitness with the U18 team, I was offered the opportunity to take part in the Rugby 7S 2017 U18 Championship in Esztergom, Hungary.
Last season of 2018 was the most eventful as I joined the colts team at Broughton Park, and continued as a member of the seniors team at Wythenshawe. I was also recalled to Moldova in March to take part in training before the game against Portugal alongside Moldova’s 1st team. Later in the season I participated in the 7s tournament at Chester with the 1XV Broughton Park team.
Joining Eccles is an exciting event for me and I am looking forward to work conjunctively!”


Tommo Returns.

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.”

Ex-pro Hayden comes on board

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.”

Wilkinson welcomed home.

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!!!”

Eccles Touch is back

Wednesday summer evenings, 7pm-8.30pm, sees the return of O2 Touch to Eccles RFC. Pitch up and play on the 11th July (registration 6.45pm). League begins 18th July.

6 aside (minimum 2 female players). 6 minute games. 6 touch tackles per set. Rolling subs. No kicking. No diving trys. Team up. Compete.

For more details & application forms contact: james.g.wright@hotmail.com