Welcome to Lockwood Park

A warm welcome to everyone visiting Lockwood Park, whether for rugby or any of the other sports played here. To visiting teams, officials, and supporters, I hope you enjoy your visit and return soon.

The new season is here and as with all things `new` that inevitably means change. In rugby and at Lockwood Park this has come both on and off the field.

At Huddersfield RUFC we have a new-look rugby management team and a new senior coaching team led by 1st XV Director of Rugby Neil Ryan, and Head Coach Rob Anderson. Both bring a wealth of experience to the squad, and I would like to wish them, and all involved in our rugby management the very best.

This season the 1st XV will be led by new co-captains Ed Barber and Callum Thompson. Our playing squad has been boosted by many new faces and the welcome return of some former players like Harry Whitfield and Thiu Barnard, plus the recruitment of local talent wishing to join Huddersfield RUFC for the experience of playing National League rugby.

Our Falcons development XV and A Team also have a new look organisation with club stalwart George Hinchliff overseeing the teams to ensure we maximise potential across both sides. The Falcons will be managed once again by the irrepressible Joe Shiel and captained by Leighton Davis with Ollie Shaw as vice-captain. The leadership team will have senior player support from Darren Neilly. George Hinchliff remains captain of the A-Team with another loyal servant of the club, Josh Cook, as his number two. Experienced senior player support for the team will be provided by Andy Lyon and Joe Hodgson.

Michael Stancliffe continues as head coach for the Colts and Rob Potter has taken on the vital role of Pathway Performance Director; the vastly experienced Scot has all the credentials to pave the way for our young players to achieve their full potential. Our youngsters are vital to the future success of our senior teams and in recent times the achievements of our First XV have been founded to a significant extent on homegrown talent. I look forward to seeing many others coming through in due course.

Jess Bunyard remains at the helm as head coach in our developing Women’s and Girls section. They have made real strides forward and are playing in the Allianz Inner Warrior North (East) League. Claire Taylor is team captain and Sue Burton vice-captain and I wish them continuing success.

Our Age Grade section chaired by Tracy Davis is one of the strongest in the county and once again will be fielding teams in all age groups from 6 to 16. Tracy has the support of many talented coaches, hard-working managers, and parent volunteers. I know they will have another fantastic season.

The last piece of our new structure jigsaw will be the return of Nick Sharpe as Committee Liaison Officer, forging the vital link between the playing and organisational sides of the squads. Nick will also be working closely with Senior Management on several sponsorship and fundraising projects.

Following the introduction of the new tackle height regulation last season, World Rugby has introduced a new set of laws which will be in force at this year’s World Cup. They include shorter time allowances at the breakdown and with penalty/conversion kicks. These along with the new ‘orange card’ rule will no doubt foster many a heated discussion wherever fans gather and who knows they may in the future trickle down to matches played here at Lockwood Park.

The last twelve months have seen numerous improvements to our facilities. We have a new 3G pitch with LED floodlighting, the grass playing surfaces have been upgraded and we have built a new staircase to the clubhouse balcony. These and numerous other projects have been worked on by our Lockwood Park Volunteers whose tireless commitment does them credit and brings benefits for us all to enjoy. A huge thank you to them for everything they do.

We are looking forward to the new National 2 North campaign which sees us with 8 Yorkshire derbies including the long-awaited prospect of pitching our skills against Leeds Tykes again and affords us the opportunity to visit many old friends across the region.

I am sure you will agree we have a fantastic club and with the ongoing improvements both on and off the field,all bodes well for an exciting season to come. I look forward to meeting you all pitchside home or away. Let us stand together and support our teams wherever they play and remember the battle cry, ‘Up the Field!!’ We’ll meet afterwards in the bar and raise a glass to our victories or share the `what could have been’ with our opposition.

Remember in rugby there are no strangers, only friends we are yet to meet!

Enjoy the game.

Thank you,

Bohdan Santar

Huddersfield RUFC President