Fylde ace backs World Cup legacy

Goodman - aiming high

Goodman - aiming high

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Whenever a major sports tournament like the rugby World Cup takes place, there is much talk of legacy.

If it is to be construed as an overall success then it has to have a knock-on effect by inspiring the younger generation to take up the sport.

That’s where people like Fylde back row forward Mark Goodman comes into play.

He is at the heart of initiatives to help nurture the game at gross roots level, encouraging people to take it up, just as his team-mate Jordan Dorrington was when watching England’s 2003 World Cup triumph.

As well as playing for Fylde, Goodman is employed by England Rugby as a community rugby coach in the South Manchester area.

His ‘beat’ takes in clubs such as Chorlton, Altrincham-Kersal, Broughton Park and Bowdon.

Goodman said: “We work with 14 to 24 year-olds - that’s where we are trying to target, helping out with whatever is needed at secondary schools, universities and

colleges.

“It means going into the schools, to try to encourage youngsters to join their local clubs and give rugby a go. I hope the World Cup will bring some enthusiasm to the kids - that’s where we come in.

“It is just trying to strengthen clubs in my area.

“I enjoy my coaching - and that’s what I plan to do after I have finished playing,” added Goodman, who is 25 this week.”

Goodman is young in years, but has had a varied and at times seriously interrupted career.

He played Rugby League for Halifax, becoming a graduate from the Yorkshire club’s academy, earning a first team contract.

After one match, Goodman suffered a broken leg, fracturing both the tibia and fibia, which required five operations.

It took him 18 months to recover from such the setback, later joining Rochdale and a spell in Australia, playing in the 13-a-side code for Gold Coast team Tugun Seahawks.

Gooodman was part of the Fylde side that suffered a shattering, last-gasp defeat at the hands of Richmond, but he insists: “We will pick ourselves up for Saturday.

“The boys are still confident. When we play the way we can - when we go forward and play the way Paul Arnold asks us to play - we can beat any side, easily.”

*There could be a family reunion at Plymouth Albion tomorrow.

The Namibian World Cup squad have been invited to watch the Fylde/Albion game as guests, and their party includes centre Darryl de La Harpe.

He is the brother of Fylde scrum-half Ryan De La Harpe, who had hoped to be in the World Cup squad, but missed out on final selection.

Fylde player-coach Paul Arnold said it would provide an incentive for the Fylde man.

“I know that (former coach) Mark Nelson spoke to Phil Davies, the Namibia coach, about Ryan last season, recommending him to be picked, but he did not get selected.

“This would be an ideal chance for Ryan to show the Namibians what they were missing and prove a point.”