Arnold targets lift-off for Fylde RFC's season

Fylde RFC player-coach Paul Arnold prepares to return to action at home to Esher tomorrow (3pm) to help his side achieve the win they need.

Friday, 30th September 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 1:50 pm
Fylde player-coach Paul Arnold

The Woodlands club sit second-bottom of National One, having lost all four matches to date, most recently a 57-14 hammering by Hartpury College last weekend.

With two home games to come – Plymouth Albion follow Esher – Arnold is anxious to kickstart the season.

He said: “We’ve played the teams who finished second and third last season and one who came down from the Championship (Birmingham Moseley), but the bottom line is we need a win. Esher did the double over us last season and now is the time to right a few wrongs.”

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Arnold is not the only older head returning to the fray.

Greg Nicholls is available for recall at scrum-half, while Evan Stewart is fit for pack duties alongside Arnold.

The coach added: “We played a few young lads from Sale Jets at Hartpury, who are promising players but are learning their trade.

“We have some more experienced players in the equation for this weekend. That could help us because concentration will be vital.”

Esher have only managed a single win themselves to date, though that is one more than Fylde who stand just one point off the bottom.

Given that victory is paramount, could Arnold be tempted to sacrifice Fylde’s expansive style in favour of a more conservative plan?

The coach said: “The coaching staff have never said the players can’t kick the ball to clear their lines.

“Our coaching is designed to help the players become better decision-makers and the problem this season has been that we are not making good decisions.

“Other teams know how we play and will try to force us into a mistake, so we have to relieve the pressure and make sure our go-forward is good.

“Also we have to execute better than we have been but the top and bottom is that we need a win.”

Fylde: Dorrington, Armstrong, Briers, Wilkinson, Brennand, Smith, Nicholls; Lewis, Burtonwood, Pope, Arnold, Nott, Turley, Stewart, Fairbrother. Replacements: Griffiths, Gregory, Vernon, Lamptrey, Rawlings.