Shaw Cross Sharks head coach Mark Barlow praised the ‘team ethic’ shown in the side’s opening-day win over Clock Face Miners.
His reign as boss got off to the perfect start as the Sharks started the NCL Division Two season with a 24-20 triumph.
“The lads were really up for it and so was I,” a delighted Barlow said after the game.
“We’ve been training for two or three weeks. We’ve worked on a few things, not as many as we’d have liked because it hasn’t been the greatest pre-season, but we’ve tried to buzz the lads up.
“It makes a big difference and all we’re doing as a coaching team is getting everyone trying to pull in the same direction, everyone trying to be positive, everyone willing to work for each other.
“There are no individuals in our team, we’re just trying to work as a team and have that team ethic, and having that philosophy where we want to work hard for each other.”
The coach was happy to see great performances from both the youngsters and old heads in the side, a blend which he is particularly positive about.
He said: “We’ve got really young lads who know how to play the game, and have got one or two years yet before you could call them an out-and-out first teamer. They’re putting the shirt on and worked their socks off, doing well against Clock Face who have got some old heads.
“Regarding our experienced players, Tilly (Andrew Tillotson) came off the bench and had a blinder, Rourkey (John Rourke) was smashing them down the middle, dictating play, just being that old head which makes it a lot easier for me as a coach. The lads respect him and fair play to him.”
Barlow also struck an optimistic tone looking ahead to this week and preparations for Shaw Cross’ first away fixture of the season on Saturday, when they go to Ince Rose Bridge.
“We’re just trying to get numbers down in training which we have done,” he said. “The lads have responded really well to what we’re doing in training.
“We’ve got a win, we’re back in training Tuesday and Thursday and there’s no reason why we can’t go next Saturday and get another win.”
Updated 21:35 - 4 Mar 2019 by Stephen Ibbetson