Players set to return to training as new era begins at Vale of Lune

Jack Ferguson is the new Director of Rugby at Vale of Lune. Picture: Tony North.
Jack Ferguson is the new Director of Rugby at Vale of Lune. Picture: Tony North.
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Vale of Lune’s league season commences in two months time but all the important preparations begin on Tuesday at Powderhouse Lane with the first training session commencing at 7pm.

This will be followed by one on Thursday, which will continue throughout the season on a weekly basis.

It is important that all players turn out, while those former players who decided to hang up their boots for various reason plus any newcomers to the area, are most welcome to attend.

A fresh coaching regime is in place with the experienced and highly respected former player Jack Ferguson taking on the demanding role of Director of Rugby alongside Head Coach Joel Unsworth, who has coaching experience at Sandbach and Stoke on Trent.

Coaching manuals with a plethora of accompanying CDs and tapes tend to follow similar programmes but the secret lies in their interpretation as any director of a play or film, a musician or the conductor of an orchestra will testify.

The ability to improvise, to be prepared to be creative and imaginative and produce a variation on a common theme, to be able to tweak the score or script with confidence can make a huge difference and being able to react when ‘Plan A’ does not appear to be working will no doubt occupy the minds of Jack Ferguson and Joel Unsworth in the coming weeks.

Undoubtedly, Vale of Lune are destined to face numerous challenges in the coming season but hopefully they will not be over burdened by the hangover of a frustrating legacy from the mayhem of last season.

A number of players have already left the fold, this comes as no real surprise because rumours were circulating in the closing weeks of a disastrous season that the playing strength would suffer some collateral damage in the wake of relegation.

Damon Hall, a high calibre, self propelled points gathering machine, who in his 53 appearances rattled in 65 tries and mortared over 139 conversions plus 27 penalty goals has made tracks to Rossendale where he comes under the wing of another Vale record try scorer, Mark Nelson, who is head coach.

Former club captain Sam Wallbank and Jordan Dorrington will be off to Lightfoot Green, home of Preston Grasshoppers.

Olly Jacques is returning to Firwood Waterloo, a club he played for before joining the Vale, with Chris Ramwell rejoining Kirkby Lonsdale.

These five players are certain to be missed having accumulated in excess of 400 appearances for the first XV.

However, their departure does provide an opportunity for other players to stake their claim but even at Level 6 they will be subject to exacting demands on fitness, technical ability and finely honed competitive edge.

With the switch of the Warrington fixture to Powderhouse Lane on September 14 because of Warrington’s ground share with a cricket club and their season not being over, Vale have an ideal start.

They have three home games, beginning with Altrincham Kersal on September 7, then Warrington, followed by Bowdon on September 21, a combination of fixtures that must be exploited to the maximum.