Last Saturday should have seen the Green Machine at Cross Green for the last action of the 2019/20 league season. Sadly, we were denied that pleasure and, although we are also to be denied Otley’s company in National 2 North next season following their relegation under the RFU’s formula approach, we have agreed to make up for Saturday with a pre-season fixture away at Otley on Saturday 22 August.
Rob Baldwin and the coaches are looking to put in place a comprehensive pre-season programme on the assumption that rugby can restart at the usual time, but we obviously do not yet know if that will happen. Whilst for many that is a long way from being a priority at this difficult time, we are a rugby club and our planning remains focused on next season, whenever that may be. What we do know is that National 2 North will be more competitive than ever with 7 Yorkshire sides in the line-up, including Rotherham, Hull Ionians and Harrogate – although we will lose Hinckley who are joining Leicester Lions as Midlands transfers into National 2 South. The coaches are looking to retain our existing squad and strengthen by recruitment in key areas – and we hope to have positive news on these fronts in due course.
As was reported a few weeks ago, the lockdown restrictions will hit our income over the summer with the loss of events such as the Wharfedale Trail Half Marathon, the Etape du Dales and a raft of clubhouse function bookings. I am however delighted to report that, in addition to various strands of government support, we have been awarded a Sport England grant to help cover this loss of income.
Our commercial focus now must be on securing our income streams for the 2020/21 season. We are very aware that the current restrictions are making life extremely difficult for many of our vitally important sponsors and commercial supporters, but we hope that they will come through and will continue to support the club. We are looking at ways to boost the contribution of the Cavalry Club and would encourage all supporters to make sure that they join the club for next season, whether as ordinary members, season ticket holders or indeed the Cavalry Club (for which please contact Jon Slater on 07971 036607). This is your club and we need you on board!
Stay home and stay well – strength comes from the hills.