Well what a week that was as the old cliché goes – or in the word of our head coach, “WOW!”
Last week saw me turn 45 whilst also celebrating my immensely supportive wife Laura’s birthday.
I have to say that my last couple of weeks of my 45th year (which whilst the most successful year of my business life, was one of the worst years I can remember on a personal level) were quickly surpassed by my first day as a 45-year-old starting my 46th year.
There is a lot to be said about knowing your opponent and their fighting tactics and while I have been amazed by a gloves off dirty invitation to a dust-up, I will certainly not disappoint with my acceptance or lack of it!
You see some things are worth fighting for like the things I believe in, and my family and close friends, others just simply aren’t worth defending particularly if they are swinging at fresh air punching way above their height!
My family’s opinion and observations of me are vitally important to me.
Those that may be perceived to be against me matter not to me, so it’s a case of picking the fights you are interested in winning or are even worthy of putting up a defence.
There is another old cliché that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, and the one thing that nobody can undermine or question me on is my loyalty or faithfulness to my wife and children, so I sleep well at night knowing that what is most important to me is never under threat from my actions.
That first day was rewarding as I agreed with a quality individual to take the helm as CEO, got news that Lee Smith was available for the ‘Fax game and agreed in principle a nice bit of business for the club.
Further good news surrounds the early return of Tom Armstrong and Willie Tonga.
I also spent the day securing the club’s immediate future until the end of 2018 with various off field members which are likely public knowledge by now, if not by virtue of this paper.
Most importantly Neil Jukes and Paul Anderson have been rewarded with new improved contracts until the end of 2018.
The last time we played ‘Fax at their place Richard Marshall did a number on us and as I stated at the time I was concerned we had been “found out” by the way we were kept quiet whilst opened up at the same time.
This time ‘Fax were in real need of a victory and we were really under the cosh largely by our own failure to complete sets, but the difference this time was we came up with a win by keeping it simple and direct.
Neil had identified the difficult block of four games and we agreed to sit down at that point and see where we were.
To have taken seven from eight possible points having travelled to Bradford and ‘Fax whilst also beating Sheffield and current leaders London at home, whilst bust up with injuries utilising loan players and debutants, is a fantastic achievement and all that whilst dealing with a weekly pantomime of one description or another.
Add to that Batley’s fantastic, well-deserved start to the season and that result for us isn’t such a drama.
It is therefore pleasurable to reward him and Ando as I have total confidence in them having dealt with what they have.
It is rather apt that what people think would harm us is actually what is galvanising us as a unit and that is so rewarding.
We are in a good place with players returning, a quality CEO and a stable off field team contracted for a couple of years. I hope the fans draw confidence from that and value it as a fair return for their support.
The victory at Halifax was run close with my son’s hat-trick in only his second game of rugby for Golborne Parkside Pirates under-7s in a great game against a big Haydock side.
It’s fantastic to see parents share unrivalled mutual support for young kids being involved in the greatest game of all.
I am heading of to New York at the end of this week and taking a cruise round the Caribbean with my family, parents, brother and my niece, which I am really looking forward to.
I will therefore be handing the responsibility of writing this column next week to our new CEO Matthew Chantler, and look forward to reading it myself.
I also wish all our spectators and indeed all those who support the sport as a whole a very happy Easter!