The NW Development series has been a resounding success, in developing players, refs and clubs ahead of the national series, and a perfect way to bring competitive and social players together to play.
Going from weekly local training, to travelling 100's of miles to play in two day tournaments is a big ask to those new to any sport, hence a more regional approach was taken to fill this void.
With eight local clubs, plus three invitational ones turning out, the series has been hailed a huge success in it's first year.
Julian Gilding, Blaze co-founder had this to say:
“From a Blaze point of view it has created the perfect opportunity for new players to have the opportunity to play and train at a time when Touch is usually dormant. Several of our players are new to the game and this has been the ideal vehicle to give them game time without the added pressures of a results orientated competition. It had also kept our match officials on their toes and kept their whistling skills (and sometimes coaching skills) current and challenged with various levels of abilities to referee. It’s what we have needed as a club #Blaze 🔥🔥”
North West Regional Lead, Josh Bendel, added:
"The North West Development series has been a great success, with a mixture of highly competitive and development teams fighting it out for the top spot. It has been brilliant to see the progress of Touch at a youth level within teams such as Crewe and Nantwich Blaze and Orrel St James as well as the expansion of Touch into Universities with Manchester’s Metropolitan University and University of Manchester both joining the fray."
Congratulations to Crewe and Nantwich Blaze, who won three of the five rounds, collecting enough points to earn the title of Series Winners.
Thanks to all the teams for believing in it and playing in the right spirit. Also to all the referees who have helped out over the series too, it's been much appreciated. Last, but not least, to Gregg Cropper, for devising, organising and running (playing in and refereeing in) the series.