With an enforced end to the season on 14th March Harrogate Pythons continue to prepare hard for the start of the new season. With The 1st XV finishing 4th in their league and The 2nd XV finishing 3rd, with 4 games in hand over the leaders, 2019-20 is one of the most successful seasons for this community club.
Head Coach, Dan Bird said, “It’s really exciting to be back. The RFU COVID guidelines place an additional challenge to the planning processes for everyone in our coaching team. But, through thinking outside the box and using all the resources available to us our sessions are exciting and engaging.
For example, our S&C coach Peter Davies, HG3 Fitness, uses Zoom. He delivers gruelling rugby specific programmes for the players to join in with from their own homes twice a week. I’m working with my assistant Dale Breakwell at the Jim Saynor Ground on Mondays and Wednesdays. We deliver core skills and drills to get the lads with a ball in hand once again. All the players work in smaller groups, 6 per quarter pitch, it allows us as coaches to provide greater feedback to each player and differentiating sessions accordingly. The player’s buy-in is exceptional. 45 players engage in socially distant training already. It’s clear they are really motivated to make 2020-21 a successful season”.
Off the field, lock-down is a busy time for the Harrogate Pythons Committee. A brand-new website www.pythonsrugby.co.uk has been completed. Local developers Kinetic Agency have supported the work at all stages. Kinetik is based in Harrogate and run by Frazer Campey and his sons Ollie and Sam. The whole team worked together to progress the website project and build the framework for the committee to populate.
Commercial Chairman Peter Jesper told us, “We’re so grateful to the Kinetik team for their support and sponsorship of this project. A couple of us ‘older’ committee members had a steep learning curve with WordPress to populate the site with all matters Pythons”. He continued, “We now have a website that really tells our story. This builds up our place in both Yorkshire Rugby and Harrogate Rugby. This shows how our players, coaches, members, supporters and sponsors all contribute to our community amateur club. The site will attract interest in our achievements at the Jim Saynor Ground from the local sporting community. We’re ready to welcome faces old and new once the restrictions ease and our season eventually begins”.
Peter added “Apart from the website, the boys will cross the whitewash in brand new kit. We’re grateful to all those local Yorkshire companies who continue to support us during these challenging times. Our special thanks go to Northern Energy, Carter Jonas, Mainline Taxis, HG3 Fitness and Janrose Interiors for their generosity. We’ll do our best to honour your support now with our performances on the pitch”.
The 1st XV will have a challenging season with Barnsley and West Park Leeds coming into their league. Although not yet confirmed provisional league structures show the 2nd XV being promoted into the YRFU Championship where they will face Ilkley 2’s and the formidable Wharfedale 3’s.
The start of the season is still to be decided by The RFU but, once it does, competitive games will begin once again at The Jim Saynor Ground, Station View HG2 7JA