Praise for Simon’s ‘fantastic effort’

ELLAND coach Karl Fairbank expects to make a more conventional team selection for tomorrow’s National Conference trip to Oulton Raiders.

The Greetland-based club have struggled to raise a side recently, forcing them to cancel their fixture against East Leeds - a game NCL bosses have decreed must be re-arranged for a midweek slot - a fortnight ago.

The problems continued last week, with the club’s former hooker Simon Bowker, one of the stars of the side that won two Yorkshire Cups almost a decade ago, coming out of retirement to help plug the gaps.

“We had four players last week who have not played this season, and obviously Simon has not played for a few years,” said Fairbank, who hopes to welcome back his youngest son, Miles, after a lengthy absence with hamstring problems.

“It was a fantastic effort from him really, but I’m hoping things are going to be looking a little rosier this week.

“Miles should be available and Joe Beverley is back after work commitments, so we should be okay.

“I just want to put a side out and make sure they play as well as they can.”

But Fairbank is confident the club’s selection problems are transient, largely the result of the current shortened season that will provide a transition from winter to summer rugby.

“It’s been like a disease; one player decides they’re not going to turn up and it spreads through the club,” said Fairbank.

“It’s just this short season though, we’ll be fine when things get back to normal next year.”