First team chance beckons for Carlton

Fylde set for big kick-off
Fylde set for big kick-off
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Fylde RFC will be without goal-kicker and fly-half Greg Smith for the season-opener against Cambridge at the Woodlands on Saturday.

And that has left an opening for Danny Carlton to come into the side for the National League One clash, providing his registration comes through in time.

Carlton had a spell playing in the United States and that country currently holds his registration.

That needs to be transferred by Saturday in order for Carlton, a one-time captain at Manchester RFC, to get his chance.

Fylde head coach Warren Spragg said: “We have known for some time that Greg would not be available for this first match but he is attending a wedding.”

Spragg joked: “Greg is either best man or usher at a wedding on Saturday. I have tried everything I can to try and change it, maybe moving it to Sunday or even falling out with the family!

“But he won’t be able to play, so that gives Danny a chance, providing his registration comes through in time.

“If it doesn’t come through, then we will have to look at alternatives. maybe Chris Briers or Conor Wilkinson at fly-half.

“Whoever comes it could be they will play well enough to make sure that when Greg is available again he doesn’t just automatically walk straight back into the team and take his place in the team for granted.”

Spragg is making no predictions about the up-coming season, but says there will be no shortage of fighting spirit.

In fact, that will be the least of his concerns.

He said: “We will be sending out a team that has fire in their bellies, ready to battle for their places and wanting to do well for the club.

“Whatever happens and even if we lose a couple of matches, this club is moving in the right direction and we are building a squad for the next few seasons.

“Apart from maybe a couple of sessions, the players have done everything we have asked of them in training and we have been happy with the way all the players have responded.”

Flanker Ben Vernon should be fit to take his place in the Fylde squad for the visit of Cambridge.

He had to withdraw in the first half in the friendly match against Bury St Edmunds when Fylde went down to a 33-22 defeat after leading 22-7 at half time.

Spragg said: “Ben did not train on Tuesday night and he had some re-hab. We will check at training tonight, but we expect him to be fit.”

One of Fylde’s new signings, front row forward Mark Irving has missed the two pre-season friendlies, but has been pencilled in for his debut on Saturday.