Nelson ready for first battle

Fylde's Nelson Co-Writes Hollies Title Song''Mark Beverley
Fylde's Nelson Co-Writes Hollies Title Song''Mark Beverley

FYLDE RU coach Mark Nelson, preparing for the opening match of the season at the Woodlands against Jersey on Saturday, said: “Who knows? They could be the best side we are going to play all season.”

It is an historic match for Jersey, who like Fylde, won promotion to National League One last season.

And like Fylde, they have been busy recruiting over the summer.

Among the newcomers is former Welsh international prop Ben Evans, who won 27 caps.

He had spells at Cardiff and at Sale, at a time when Nelson was on the coaching staff.

Jersey have also signed Welsh under-21 centre David Bishop, Australian back-row Kingsley Lang and Richmond fly-half Ross Broadfoot.

Nicky Griffiths, Glenn Bryce, Guy Thompson and James Ellershaw have also linked up with the islanders.

Jersey have prepared for the new campaign with a training camp in France and a pre-season friendly in which they defeated Loughborough Students 47-3.

Nelson said: “It doesn’t surprise me that Jersey have signed so many players, and clearly they have the resources to make an impact this season.

“They could turn out to be the best team in the league, but whatever the result, it will not determine what happens for the rest of the season

“If we win, we shouldn’t get too excited, and if we lose we should not be in any way downhearted.

“I am very happy with our own preparations, and prefer to concentrate on that rather than what Jersey are going to do.

“But we certainly won’t compromise. We will have to be disciplined, and not give penalties away, as Broadfoot is such a good goal-kicker.”

Nelson expects to choose from a full squad for Saturday, with the exception of Gavin Cartmel, signed from Penrith – he is still suffering a knee injury.

Fylde will not be signing New Zealand-born forward Glen Limbrick, who played in the friendly against Sale Sharks.

Nelson said: “Under the terms of his work permit, he can only play level five rugby or below.”