FYLDE rugby club chairman Mike Brennand has revealed that the team won the National League Two North title on the lowest budget since their dawn of the professional era in the sport.
And he said 25 per cent of the successful squad were not being paid.
Congratulating the team on topping the table, Brennand said: “We stuck to our rugby budget and a quarter of our players are amateurs. We built a squad by operating within a strict budget.
“Being promoted (to National League One) will not cost us any more money as the Rugby Football Union will cover our expenses.
“It has been our lowest budget since professionalism started and we have achieved more than we have ever done with our first team, which is what generates the most revenue at the club.”
Fylde are stepping up their search to boost their front row after the announcement that Cypriot international Tony Thoma is leaving the club for South Africa. Fylde have a couple of players in mind to fill the gap.
The Woodlands club are expected to announce the arrival of a second row forward on Thursday. Among those who have committed themselves to Fylde next season is Mike Waywell, one of the best young centres in the North West and arguably the most improved player on the club’s books – qualities that earned him recognition with the England Counties squad.
At the club’s revamped annual presentation, Richard Kenyon was named player of the year.
He is one of the longest-serving players at Fylde and he said of the title-winning achievement: “I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with these players.”
Prop forward Pete Altham, voted the club’s young player of the year, has rejected overtures from his old club Wharfedale to return. Altham has committed himself to Fylde and says he is looking forward to playing against his former team.
Olly Trippier was named colts’ player of the year, while Dave Story was named Vandals’ best player. The Vandals joined the first team in gaining promotion during the 2010-11 campaign.
Other best player awards went to Peter Jackson (Vikings), Nick Campbell (Saracens) and Dan Madden (Warriors).
n FYLDE coach Mark Nelson has led Lancashire to a third successive County Championship final at Twickenham.
The Red Rose county completed a clean sweep of group victories with Saturday’s 37-17 victory over Cheshire at Macclesfield and will seek to lift the Bill Beaumont Cup for the third successive year on Sunday.
The final will be against Herfordshire, who defeated last season’s runners-up Gloucestershire 53-8 to win the southern group.
*FYLDE’S Nick Royle helped England restored some pride by winning their final two games in the Emirates Airline London Sevens at Twickenham.
An agonising 19-17 defeat against Kenya had sent England tumbling out of the Bowl competition but they picked up some silverware by beating Canada 22-14 and finishing with a 22-7 victory over Portugal in the Shield final. Royle was among the scorers against Canada.
South Africa were crowned champions with a 24-14 win over Fiji.
*FYLDE RFC are auctioning the shirt worn by England great Jason Robinson on the final day of the league season, when the National Two North champions defeated Hull Ionians 76-14.
Robinson has signed the shirt, in which he completed the scoring with a last-minute try.
Closed bids should be emailed the club at firstname.lastname@example.org by noon next Sunday. The successful bidder will by notified by email by 5pm that day.
Bidders should include their name and contact number.