Eccles RFC is proud of its reputation in producing Home Grown players.
This season the club has over 300 active, registered players and we’ve been able to field teams from U7s to U16s, as well as our U18 Colts, U18 Girls, Ladies and two Mens teams. Our pitches are full every Saturday and Sunday, our DofE award programme continues to earn national recognition and our coaching standards are second to none, but is our effort and investment in Junior rugby paying off?
This list of former Juniors and Colts all playing Senior rugby for Eccles this season confirms we’re doing something right:
Tom Bates, Joe Borrett, Harry Candland, Daniel Delaney, James Fletcher, Joe Rapinett, Kieron Reed, Shea Skillicorn, David Smith, Alex Speakman, Mathew Walker. Damola Ayanlaja-lowo, Dillon Carter, Adam Christey, Fin Cox, Tim Cullen, Edward Mather, Leon Simpson, Chris Thomas, Liam Thornley, Reece Walker. Kyle Dowarka, Cameron Higginbottom, Micheal Shaw, Rory McGrath. Cameron Oates, Ross Eaton, Aaron Booth, Robert Mather, Adam Wilkinson, Curtis Bates, Danny Holland, Declan O’Regan, James Wright, Jordan Bromley, Lee Brennand, Matt Parkinson, Will Parkinson, Pete Heseltine, Reece James, Sean Baines, Simon Donovan.
Our Junior programme regularly produces talented young players. This season we’ve been delighted to see eight Eccles lads wear the Lancashire Jersey; our U15 Fly-Half Sam Crowther was selected for the Sale Sharks Academy squad and our Colts Captain, Dan Aspinall, was selected for England Lambs. In addition to these individual successes, our Senior Colts team have won their Divisional Championship title, loosing only two fixtures, and have progressed to both the Lancashire Colts U18 Trophy Final and the Colts League Senior Plate Final.
But of course, the boys are not the whole story. Our Mens and Ladies sections share the same belief and commitment to player propagation.
This year, no less than six players from our U18 Girls team were selected for Lancashire and a seventh player selected for Cheshire! The Ladies have endured a difficult season in the Women’s elite level of the Championship 1 North, but the future looks bright with several former Eccles’ Juniors graduating to play Senior rugby in the Navy and White hoops:
Jenny Whittle, Rebecca Roden, Leah Christian, Georgia Cunliffe, Chloe Latham, Megan Trownson, Mollie Landers, Molly Wild, Molie Young, Rhianna Burke.
So, how do we manage to cultivate and retain such a rich harvest of talented youth, year after year? Well, it’s a path we committed to some time ago.
‘Home Grown’ is in our veins and our roots.
Many players that flourish here as youths remain here as adults to continue the good work. It’s no surprise that our Director of Rugby and more than one member of the club committee first began their association with Eccles RFC as colts players themselves, many decades ago.
With over 120 years of history behind us, Eccles RFC are a resilient, forward-looking community club and we welcome support from organisations who share our ambition, principles and passion. If you’d like to know more about sponsorship opportunities please contact our Sponsorship Secretary Andy Brunt on 07743 825459. If you’d like to know more about how we develop our players and our plans for future growth please contact our Director of Rugby Sam Simpson on 07935 403171.
As the season comes to its conclusion, the club would like to take the opportunity to offer sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed time, effort and funds in support of Eccles RFC. Our club relies heavily on a small army of dedicated volunteers to keep the gates and doors open and we appreciate and welcome anyone who would like to donate their enthusiasm and skills. We’re already making plans for next season and there are lots of roles available. Your club can be better with your participation. If you’re interested to help please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you have enjoyed your rugby this season, we wish you a restful summer and we look forward to seeing you back at the glorious pitches of Gorton Street – the home of home grown – for a fresh new season in August!
- 5th May – Eccles v Ormskirk, Colts Plate Final at Heaton Moor RUFC KO 1130am.
- 5th May – Eccles 1XV v Aspull 1XV, Plate Final, at Rochdale RUFC KO 12pm.
- 8th June – Eccles RFC Annual Diner Dance at AJBell Stadium, tickets available from the bar.