Free admission for Fylde RFC v Preston Grasshoppers as chairman Matt Filipo wants spectators to come back for more

Rugby-starved Fylde RFC supporters couldn’t have hoped for a more appetising return to action than a clash with arch-rivals Preston Grasshoppers – and they won’t be charged a penny to watch tomorrow’s Woodlands derby.

By Andy Moore
Friday, 13th August 2021, 12:30 pm

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Fylde’s first fixture for more than 17 months is one of two pre-season friendlies – Sale FC will visit for the second in a fortnight – before the National Two North campaign kicks off at Tynedale on September 4.

Admission is free tomorrow, when the 3pm match between players from Fylde and Hoppers’ first and second XV squads will follow a 12.30pm clash involving the clubs’ third and fourth-team players.

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Fylde's last competitive fixture was against Luctonians 17 months ago

Admission charges are among the issues being considered by new chairman Matt Filipo and his committee as a new era begins at the ambitious Ansdell club.

Filipo told The Gazette: “We have to look at making changes and entrance fees are one area to be considered.

“It’s about making people want to come back to the club. We don’t just want people to come along to a rugby match and then walk away. We want them to stay, have a few beers and want to come back again.”

The long-serving former prop and Fylde captain agrees they have the perfect fixture to welcome supporters back.

“I played in many Hoppers games and the atmosphere was brilliant. It was always a great grudge game,” he said.

“Now the players I played against are in charge and I’m looking forward to seeing them.

“It’s a great way to start for us. Everyone can come along, enjoy it and catch up. It will be a good day for the club.”

It will be one for the players, who haven’t welcomed a visiting team to the Woodlands since Luctonians were beaten on March 7 last year.

“They are training hard, being coached hard and are putting in the work,” said Filipo.

“You can’t hold them back and they have all our support. We have a young, talented side who have probably had to spend too much time training and they are itching to go.”

Tomorrow’s match will be played in four 20-minute quarters.

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