Spragg determined to turn Fylde’s season round

Tom Carleton in action against Old Elthamians
Tom Carleton in action against Old Elthamians

Head coach Warren Spragg will make changes at Plymouth Albion tomorrow as he faces up to the huge challenge of turning Fylde RFC’s troubled season around.

Last weekend’s 43-7 home defeat by previously winless Old Elthamians left Fylde bottom of National One and still without a point after three games.

And coach Spragg, who fronted up fora club video to say he shared the supporters’ pain, now faces one of the season’s most testing trips to the south west.

Spragg told The Gazette that hooker Ben Gregory, last season’s Lancashire Under-20s captain, will start the game in Devon, though the coach’s scope to change his personnel is limited by injuries, unavailability and the shortage of experience within his squad.

Spragg said : “We have set our stall out as a group of players. We know what we want to achieve and how we want to play.

“If we can produce that in matches the results can change, but we have lads stepping up and playing more National One rugby than they would have expected to. We have a lot of young players who are having to mature quickly.”

Fylde will again be without Dave Fairbrother on Royal Navy duty and have lost captain Greg Nicholls to a long-term knee injury, but Spragg said: “Of course it would be better to have more old heads but we have what we have.

It’s good to have Matt Garrod back, and he and (fellow forward) Nick Ashcroft are stepping up into leadership roles.

“We will look at players who have worked hard but haven’t started yet but we have limitations with the squad we have.”

The visit to perennial high-flyers Plymouth could be seen as daunting but Spragg welcomes the opportunity for the squad to spend more time together.

“It’s our one overnight trip of the season, so we get two full days together and the chance to do more work.”