Reserves going well thanks to Hough

Date published: Thursday, June 10, 2010

ROUGHYEDS have placed on public record their satisfaction at how well things are progressing at reserve-team level.

It is no coincidence, says chairman Chris Hamilton, that the team is playing good rugby and winning matches and that players are coming on in leaps and bounds under the direction of coach John Hough and his backroom staff.

“These things don’t just happen at the flick of a switch,” said Chris. “They happen because of hard work, dedication and a willingness on the part of the people concerned to put in long hours on the job.”

This is the reserve team’s third season since the decision was taken by the board to ressurect a second team, which had been scrapped after the 2004 season as an essential cost-cutting exercise.

For three seasons the club didn’t have a second tier, but it was reborn in 2008 and it was from that first squad of new recruits that three players who are now fully-fledged members of the first-team squad — Chris Clarke, Ben Heaton and Scott Mansfield — began to catch the eye.

Mark Smith was also signed on pro forms from that same reserve team and he is also pushing at the first-team door, having been called up as 18th man for last Sunday’s game against Blackpool on the strength of his outstanding performance the day before in the second team’s 58-20 win against Hunslet Hawks. Dean Hatton has also been on 18th-man duty.

There are five more first-year professionals in the current crop of reserves, namely Michael Ward, Austen Barrowclough, Jacob Kinney, Ross Coates and Ben Marsden.

In addition, two of the team’s non-contracted players, centre Alistair Williams and big prop Michael Cadd, both aged 22, have been pushed forward to train with Tony Benson and his senior squad on one night each week for the foreseeable future.

Cadd impressed in his first senior training run on Tuesday night, but the unlucky Williams had to sit out the session, having damaged an ankle after completing his second try hat-trick in two games against Hunslet last Saturday.

This coming Saturday the reserves will be bidding to pick up their third win in a row when they entertain Sheffield Eagles at Whitebank (3.00pm kick off) after running in 48 points against York and 58 against Hunslet in their last two outings.

Said Chris: “John Hough does a lot of work that doesn’t always get the public recognition it deserves. He works exceptionally hard to get good players to come to the club in the first place and once he has got them here he puts in an awful lot of work with them — not just the contracted players, but all of them.

“They began pre-season early and he does three sessions a week with them on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

“It is good to see that all the hard work is paying off. The team’s prospects for the rest of the season are good and we are really confident about the future prospects of several of the boys.

“They really appreciate the support they are getting too, especially since they have started playing at Whitebank.”