The end game approaches for rival coaches at the Woodlands on Saturday, when Fylde RFC take on Old Albanian in National League One.
Paul Arnold and James Shanahan are both coming to the end of their tenure but they will insist that their players keep their eye on the ball during a period of uncertainty for both teams.
Fylde go into the match in 13th spot, while Old Albanian are 10th, the latter coming into the match on the back of a shock hammering by 65-19 at home to Esher last Saturday.
The respective coaches know each other well as they worked together two years ago with the England Counties’ representative side.
Fylde player-coach Arnold said: “Both of us want to finish the season on a high and as far up the table as we can. The players from both sides need to keep their focus, even though there are things going on outside their control. I know James Shanahan well and he will be fuming after losing the last match so heavily.”
For Saturday's clash at the Woodlands, Fylde will be without their contingent from Sale Sharks as they are required by their parent club for training over the weekend.
Back row forward Dave Fairbrother misses out. He is required to play in a Royal Navy match on Wednesday and the authorities don’t want him to play for Fylde.
The Navy are getting ready for their big match of the season against The Army at Twickenham on April 29, which will be watched by a crowd of 80,000.
Fairbrother won the man-of-the-match award when the two services met 12 months ago.
Also absent against Old Albanian will be lock Nick Gray, who is away on a skiing holiday. In Gray’s absence, prop Simon Griffiths locks the scrum with Jack Turley.
Another absentee is winger Anthony Bingham, who is playing sevens rugby for Jamaica. That means a return for Oli Brennand, who has been sidelined with a hamstring strain.
Arnold said: “Oli has looked sharp in training. We hope he finishes the season by getting on the try-sheet.”
Fylde name two young forwards on the bench in the prop Adam Joyner and back rower Toby Harrison.
Fylde: Spragg; Brennand; Wilkinson, Briers, Armstrong; Smith, Nicholls; Wild, Burtonwood, Lewis, Griffiths, Turley, Vernon, Stewart, Lamprey. Replacements: Joyner, Loney, Harrison, Arnold, Bailey.
Tomorrow’s match will see a reunion of past players, with around 100 ‘old boys’ expected. One of the players returning to his old stamping ground is Mike Dreyer, who is on a visit from his home in South Africa and is staying with former Fylde captain and coach Stuart Connell.
Fixtures: Blaydon versus Ampthill & District; Hartpury College v Loughborough Students; Blackheath v Birmingham-Moseley; Coventry v Rosslyn Park; Esher v Darlington Mowden Park; Fylde v Old Albanian; Hull Ionians v Cambridge; Macclesfield v Plymouth Albion.