Pythons Celebrate Season with Awards

The 23/24 season’s awards for Harrogate Pythons took place at The Ivory Bar in Harrogate.  The afternoon began with Coach Bird confirming that The Pythons’ 1st XV will remain in Yorkshire 1 for the 24/25 season.  Despite finishing 2nd bottom the demise of Jersey Reds from The Championship triggered a complex formula affecting leagues below them.  Bird commented, “Our 1st XV performance wasn’t representative of our season’s performances.  We gained 5 loosing bonus points, that is finishing within 7 points or less of our opposition.  With just 3 of those as wins we’d have finished just about mid table.  All the players should be congratulated on playing at this level,”  He reviewed the 2nd XV performance and thanked team mangers Mark ‘Fortress’ Wilkinson and Al Brown for their efforts putting out a competitive side for each league fixture, “It’s the strength of The Pirates that supported our club.  14 players transitioned from our 2’s into the 1st XV at some point in the season, what an effort”, he concluded.

The Awards were; 1st XV Players’ Player Ed Challis, 2nd XV Ryan Bradshaw with each Captain’s choice being 1stXV Matt Leach and 2nd XV Edy Wilkinson.  The Jim Saynor New Comer Award, decided by the coaching team, was presented by Matthew Powell to Tom Stabler-Langan with Michaela Saynor sponsoring Tom’s 24/25 season.

The Clubman of The Season was presented by Chairman Julian Tatlow to the departing Dan Bird.  A review followed outlining the Dan’s contribution over his 9 year tenure.  “Nine years ago I met a younger and thinner potential coach who was still a player with West Leeds.  He carried out mid week training and for 3 seasons was absent on match days.  He became ‘full time’ at The Pythons whist still a senior teacher firstly in Harrogate and then Leeds.  What a difference that made, league finishes in 3rd and 4th place followed by 2 seasons’ promotions”, said The Chairman.  “ Players stats, video and reviewing games, S&C sessions, Physical Therapy sessions both pitch side and mid week, overall a great experience for our players,” he added.

In addition to his Clubman Award Dan was presented with a card from his son Will, a framed shirt, a framed photo of the 22/23 promotion squad, and engraved tankards, a club shield and is the first recipient of the club’s prestigious ‘red’ tie.

Roy MacKay will be filling in for Dan in the coming season and has already added to his coaching team.  Pre season begins at The Jim Saynor Ground on Monday 1st July at 7pm.

The 70+ attendees continued to enjoy the hospitality offered by a club sponsor The Ivory Bar.