Feature: A whole new ball game for the community of Edlington

Yorkshire Main RUFC
Yorkshire Main RUFC

After the best part of two decades without one, Edlington has its own rugby club again.

Yorkshire Main RUFC was formed last year and results on the pitch have been very encouraging.

It is also hoped that the club will play a big role in the community, helping to keep youngsters off the streets and making sport more accessible in the area.

We spoke to secretary Matthew Head about the project.

DFP: When, how and why was Yorkshire Main RUFC formed?

MH: We were formed in May 2017 and our first fixture was July 29. The club was formed by Steve Hanson (president) and Grahame Wilks as they felt the community lacked a rugby club and they had a desire to bring one back for Edlington and the surrounding villages.

Yorkshire Main were originally based down at the Welfare before moving to the Granby and becoming Edlington Granby.

Over time, due to a lack of players, they merged with Wickersley to help keep the club running. However, the club folded due to having no Colts team to feed new players into the team so the ageing players decided to call it a day.

DFP: Where are you based and what league are you playing in? How many teams do you have?

MH: We are based at Edlington Welfare. We are currently not playing in a league, however we will be joining the Merit League for the new season.

We currently have one team but we are pushing to create a youth team and also a second senior team.

DFP: How is the current season going?

MH: We lost our first six matches but not by large margins.

However, we had many new players and we had only been training a few months, so we had to get a lot of people up to speed with the game and rules.

We went on to win ten out of the next 11 games against teams from Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

DFP: What are the short term and long term aims of the club?

MH: Longer term we want a production line of younger players. We’d like to have a Colts side, try and play at a higher level of rugby and hopefully progress and become one of Doncaster’s strongest teams.

In the short term we want to secure a place in the Merit League and also enter some cups and vases. We want to keep training hard and improving the player quality and also attract new players.

DFP: How has the club progressed since it was formed and what are the main challenges you face in 2018?

MH: We have gone from no funding to receiving sponsorship from Room One Construction who have paid for our home kit. Andy Howells, Anto Meaburn and Jim Howells have been greatly involved with us.

The YRFU have supplied us with a set of rugby posts. We have also had help from other clubs such as Wheatley Hills who loaned us a kit while ours was being manufactured.

The hard work we have put in has been shown in our results, going from six losses to winning ten out of our last 11, which shows great progress.

Our aims for this year are to join a Merit League and bring more players to the club, while trying to influence young players to get involved and if possible develop a Colts side.

We are also trying to raise funding to improve our current facilities.

DFP: What is the role of the club in the community of Edlington?

MH: We have managed to get quite a lot of people out of the house and down to watch a competitive game on a Saturday.

We also aim to provide the local community with a new challenge as it has been very football oriented.

We have created a rugby club to introduce people to the sport and for them to give it a try. The Welfare is a family friendly pub which is something we try to push to get families down to enjoy the fun.

We also want to try and attract younger players who may otherwise be lead into trouble, by giving them something to do and help them develop a passion.

DFP: How and why did you get involved in the club?

MH: I had never had an interest in rugby before and had never played or watched the sport but I was keen to get involved with the project.

It also gives me something to enjoy and look forward to.

DFP: How do people join and when/where do you train?

MH: We currently train down at the Welfare in Edlington on Tuesday and Thursdays at 7pm. Anyone of any age is welcome to come and play.

n For more information about Yorkshire Main RUFC email yorkshiremainrufc@gmail.com.