Its all systems go for Widnes RUFC this weekend as they prepare for their first competitive game of the season against Eccles at Heath Road in the first round of the Lancashire Trophy on Saturday. Kick off is 3.00pm.
It only seems five minutes ago since the end of last season, but Lee McDermott and the rest of the coaching staff have prepared their players well and they are champing at the bit in readiness for the game along with the other challenges that lie ahead over the next eight or nine months.
With the loss of several players due to retirement and injury â€“ Gareth Davies, Mark Sibson and captain Andy Oâ€™Neill to name but a few - the opportunity is there for other players to stake their claim for a regular spot.
â€œAll the players have been training the house down over the summer with everyone pushing hard to get into that first team squadâ€ said Head Coach McDermott. â€œWe have got plenty of selection headaches to think aboutâ€ he added.
Looking ahead, Saturdayâ€™s game is going to provide the club with a really tough challenge. Eccles had a great season last year gaining promotion to the North Lancs/Cumbria league as well as winning the Lancashire Plate for the first time in the Clubs history.
The game also kicks off the season for new Club President Graham Riley who will be hosting a â€˜Presidents Welcomeâ€™ cheese and wine event prior to the game. It starts at 1.15pm (prompt) and Graham would like as many members as possible to come along. Attendees are asked to confirm their place with him on 07760 152567 or see him at the club.
Pre season friendlies.
Widnes completed their pre-season preparations last Saturday, with a successful round robin competition involving both Macclesfield and Liverpool St Helens.
After thumping Sefton 69 â€“ 17 a fortnight ago, they carried on where they left off with a win against Macclefield (12 â€“ 7) and a draw with LSH (19 â€“ 19).
It was a great all round effort from Widnes for whom Tom McMuldroch and Tom Tabb both put in top performances.
Elsewhere, a combined Third and Fourth team beat Merseyside Police 38pts â€“ 17 in a friendly game as they prepare for life in the higher echelons of Miller Homes Division Four West. The pick of the tries came from Rob Smith who raced in from forty yards, and birthday boy Sean Kinsella who scored in the corner after a flowing move.