FYLDE RU centre Ed Binham was in optimistic mood as he looked forward to the start of the new rugby season, which kicks off with an intriguing home match tomorrow, against a Jersey side also sampling life in National League One after promotion.
Binham, named on the replacements bench for the Jersey game, brings a wealth of experience to the club and is not cowed by the challenge that lies ahead.
He said forcibly: “We shouldn’t be in the league unless you feel you can win it.
“We are all here to win and we are all competitive guys.”
Binham has done the rounds in his rugby career.
He has signed from Birmingham and Solihull, having played on loan for Luctonians last season, ironically scoring a try against Fylde at the Woodlands.
The 31-year-old has also played for Coventry, Plymouth Albion, Bedford, Ebbw Vale, Northampton and in France.
While Binham looks forward to a fresh start and a new challenge at Fylde, he looked back on the time when he nearly gave up the game for good.
He said: “I have had several clubs and a few bad injuries and nearly retired in 2006 because I had a double stress-fracture of my back.
“It was a difficult time in my life.”
Binham, who is now based in Skelmersdale, is pleased to have linked up with Fylde and begin what he hopes will be a happy, new chapter in his career.
“It’s an absolute brilliant club and I already knew Martin Wallwork because I went to university with him.
“It’s an outstanding club with a lot of history and tradition and a good community spirit, which was a massive pull (for me).
“The coaches are excellent and I haven’t got a bad word to say against the club.
“It’s a team that gets everyone to play the ball, which is a way rugby should be played and that is how it is coached from the top down.”
Binham figured in the one warm-up game that Fylde played in the build-up to the Jersey fixture when they took on Premiership side Sale, and though the Ansdell club lost 45-21, Binham says it was a worthwhile exercise.
“There was some incredible rugby played by both teams – there were a few loose passes and things, but it was early days.
“There has been a lot to work on and we would be fooling ourselves if we said there wasn’t.
“But we are in a good place at the moment, and with more hard work we will be set for the season.”
For many the challenge presented by Jersey will be something of a step into the unknown as Binham readily concedes.
“It’s a very difficult one to gauge, but I’ve heard a few whispers about them and I’m not going to try give away too much, but I’ve got a few friends around the club.
“It will be a big, physical contest but we will try dominate them and impose our style of play.
“We all want to win and there is no reason to play sport unless you are going to win.
“I think it’s well within the reach of the club from what I’ve seen to go up this season.”