Aspinall eyes end of ‘massive divide’ with new third team

3rd Novenber 2012.'Harrogate v Birkenhead,  Rugby Union.'Pictured Harrogate's Noel Minikin powers through the tackle to score his first try of the game'Picture by Gerard Binks.
3rd Novenber 2012.'Harrogate v Birkenhead, Rugby Union.'Pictured Harrogate's Noel Minikin powers through the tackle to score his first try of the game'Picture by Gerard Binks.
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Harrogate RUFC director of rugby Mike Aspinall reckons the club’s new third team will pave the way for more youngsters to break into the first team.

‘Gate have founded a third side to play in the Premier Merit leagues next season in a bid to increase club participation.

The third team will offer colts experience at senior level and provide coaching to recreational players.

Aspinall, in his new role overseeing all factions of the club, believes it is the perfect time to launch the side on the back of promotion and the new Rudding Park ground decision.

The coach said the side would remove the “massive divide” between first team standard and junior rugby.

“It’s about bridging that gap and putting a stepping stone in place,”he said.

“For me, the third team is the most important team in the club for the 2013/14 season.

“The challenge for me here is to build a club. That’s why I have stayed.”

Former Yorkshire junior coach Gerry Thomas will run the side and he wants the set up to be open to everybody interested.

Thomas said: “It’s a put your finger in the air and see what happens.

“This is an opportunity which the club needs. It’s going to be a challenge and there’s going to be lots of times where it’ll be tough. But we are all up for it.

“It’s also an opportunity for those players who have given up playing to come back to the club.”