Sheffield Forgers launch season
Sheffield Forgers RLFC, sponsored by Everything Rugby League, have officially launched their season and are now looking forward to their first Yorkshire Mens League, Division 4 fixture, away at Crigglestone All Blacks, on April 21.
Sadly, a further friendly fixture against Heworth was cancelled last week, due to flooding in York, but preparations have continued with tough field sessions staged on Saturday mornings.
Spirit around the club has been good, and there is a real sense of expectancy now around the squad, as the real business begins.
Head coach Chris Coates is really pleased with how positive the feeling within the club has been.
“It’s pretty much been six months in the making,” he told Everything Rugby League.
“They’re having a great time. All the boys are having fun, there’s lots of laughs, and that means people will keep coming back and keep up their involvement with the club.
“They’re all friends, and that’s important.”
Coates is also gratified by how many players have registered with the club, especially given the negative reaction to the club’s foundation from some quarters.
“There’s always been rugby league players in the area,” he added.
“They’ve always just transitioned to other clubs, or to rugby union, because there’s not been enough playing opportunities.
“We want to fix that by giving players plenty of opportunities.”
Jamie Brown is one of the senior members of the squad. The 33-year-old front rower, a former Scotland Exiles Student international is looking forward to providing some experience to help younger members of the team when games get testing.
“I’ve been working on my fitness,” he told.
“All the lads are really friendly. I know a few lads from the old North Derbyshire Chargers days, and there’s a few new guys here, making us all feel welcome as a team. It’s great.
“I haven’t played for a couple of years, and I’ve come back and started playing again, and I’m really enjoying it.
“I see my role this season as a 10-minute man – to come on, rough things up a bit, and then probably come back off again. A bit of an enforcer.”
Forgers fullback John Horne, also the club secretary and the squad’s social secretary, is another man who has been very pleased with how the club’s rebirth has gone so far.
“The start of the club has been great,” he said.
“It’s gone really well so far. We’ve had great participation, which has gone far past what we were expecting.
“Hopefully it’ll keep building and we’ll get a good foundation for a long-term club.
“We had a really good game against Heworth the other week, given that we’d never played together before.
“We’ve got a lot of lads who haven’t even played league before. They’ve come from union, which is a very different game, the team we were playing were far more experienced than we were, and they were worried.
“They had a chat with themselves afterwards saying that it shouldn’t have been that hard for them.
“So it was a good positive game, with a lot to learn from it.
“Forgers always had a great team spirit, back from when it first started.
“It was all about a group of mates really getting on with each other. You don’t get that kind of spirit at a lot of other clubs.”
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Source: Everything Rugby League