This weekend Sale FC Rugby have the biggest weekend since the days of Sale Sharks. When the Sale Sharks departed for Stockport, not much was left apart from the physical property. The club has been rebuilt from the ground up, and the minis and juniors section has exploded. There have been hundreds of volunteers over the years who have contributed to where we are now, manning the gates, raising the flag, cleaning, coaching or raising money. Without these people, the club would have ceased to exist.
For the Junior section, I am proud to be one of three people who have been Chair of the Minis and Juniors. My predecessor Mike Boyle left me with the solid foundation of a M&J section. For three -years I was the caretaker of this section, before handing the baton to Scott Bambrick. Scott has taken what we built and turned it into an unrecognisable force in Cheshire, with a hard-working committee, a community coach and a thriving social scene. This section has become the mainstay of the club, leading Chris Johnson to say, they’re worth 10 points to us when we play at home. They’ve earned the title “The 16thMan”.
Next weekend four of the junior teams compete for silverware. These four teams along with all the other M&J age groups are part of something that we should all be proud of. Every child who comes to us, has a place. Every child has something to give to the club. Whether they are a prop or a winger, a flag waver on a Saturday at Heywood Rd or a future coach. Our ambition for these children, is they have a club for life, regardless of whether they play semi-professional rugby, social rugby, volunteer or just turn up and watch.
In the senior section, Richard Trickey essentially built a club from scratch after the Sharks left and Jonathan Keep (first as player coach then as Director of Rugby) has kept that building work going. His coaching team has brought us from Level 6 in 2013 to the brink of National 1 in 2018. With only two loses this season so far, one of those by 2 points, we have a stunning defensive record and have won every home game and 21 games in a row. In fact, the last time we lost at home in the league was to Caldy in December 2016.
Jonathan and Anthony (Tote) Howcroft have taken a team from the brink of relegation two years ago to the edge of promotion tomorrow. They have developed a philosophy and set standards that goes beyond the sum of its parts to create a team who can win even when they are seemingly down and out.
This has been a fantastic year and win lose or draw, we are all proud of every single player from the 5-year old to the 35-year old who will show up to play this weekend and next. This Saturday 20 members of the club will take the pitch and try to win the league, but, they are not alone, a further 60 M&J members will also be taking to pitches all over the North West next Sunday attempting to also win trophies. We haven’t yet arrived at where we want to be, but we are getting closer.
Good Luck and enjoy yourselves, it’s going to be a great two weeks! #onesalefc
Sale FC Rugby