United’s first team squad were off-site over the weekend as a new link-up with Kendal Rugby Club provided the Blues with a much-needed outdoor training facility on an excellent and weather durable surface.
Assistant boss Gav Skelton spoke to us this morning about what had been an intense few days for the lads.
“We got some really good training done over the weekend on Friday and Sunday,” he said. “We were down at Kendal and we’ve managed to get onto a full-sized astro pitch, which was great to get some vital work into the lads.
“We really appreciate the rugby club opening up so we could get some important work done ahead of the busy period we’ve got coming up.
“Last week the manager put a bit of an SOS out and we’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of people coming forward to offer us facilities. We contacted Kendal and they’ve been really accommodating.
“They own it privately and they were happy for us to train there. That made it really easy for us to get our sessions on. Importantly it’s outdoor in the fresh air and on a full-sized surface, and that’s great for us and the lads.
“We could relate the sessions to a game and that gave it a proper training feel, which we all enjoyed. The good thing now is that we have a new relationship there and it’s another set of good contacts.”
“Richard Rose up the road have reached out and also been really helpful,” he continued. “Hopefully we’ll be able to utilise that if we need it in the next few weeks.
“They’ve gone above and beyond in terms of trying to help us. They had to make sure the insurance coverage was correct so that we can train there, and that’s been a complicated task.
“If the weather means we need to use that facility we know we’re now in a position to do that. It would be so easy for people to say no, but they’ve gone the other way and made sure that things like insurance and permissions are all in order so that we can train with them.
“That’s just magnificent. People have actually made extra workload for themselves to help us to get somewhere to train, as we’ve just explained with the likes of Richard Rose and Kendal, and I can’t explain how grateful we are.
“It just shows us that the community want to back us and want to see us do well. We’re really grateful to everyone who has offered to help in any way. Like I say, people have taken their own time to try to make things happen for us, which they don’t have to do. That’s just incredible.”
With such a willingness to help, which became evident almost as soon as the plea from Chris Beech went live, we wondered if that added any kind of incentive to the lads to repay them through the performances to come.
“We’re desperate to do well for the fans and the whole community, and things like this do make you want to do something good for them,” he agreed. “We obviously want to do well for ourselves as well but when people want to help you, you want to reward that.
“In these times I think it’s important for people to have something to look forward to and enjoy, so if we can play a small part in that over the next 12 weeks or so we’ll all be pleased.”