Bramley Buffaloes Rugby League Head Coach Mark Butterill can look back on his first season in charge with justifiable pride as the West Leeds outfit head off to Warrington next Sunday (4th October) to compete in their fifth consecutive Grand Final – kick off 12.30pm.
The Bramley-born coach commented: “My first season has been very enjoyable and a lot of hard work but I’m satisfied with how the guys have performed. People need to be aware that to achieve what we have with a new coach and seven new players after the loss of a lot of quality players at the start of the season is a great effort by all concerned.
“We have put in some good performances but my highlight was beating Hemel away. Everyone was talking them up as the team to beat and we went there with a patched up side and beat them in all areas. It was a very very satisfying win which showed me the strength of our playing squad.
“Players that have impressed this season have been Craig Green, Aidy Manley, Paul Drake, Chris Gardner and Simon Speight.
“Greeny has been our most improved player this year. I didn’t know him from Adam when he arrived but has been a real find for us playing on the wing or in the back row.
“Aidy, again like Greeny was unknown to me, but has been our main strike player this year and it’s unfortunate that he’s been injured for the run in as he will be missed.
“For a guy who was going to retire at the start of the year Chris Gardner has been our top go forward player and has played like an 18 year old at times…and on one leg due to his bad knee!
“Speight, like Gardner, has been Mr Consistant. He has trained and played so hard this year and is one of the first players I pick,” added Mark who has been delighted by the improvement in standards within the Conference league.
“I think teams like Featherstone, Huddersfield and Nottingham have been very very strong this year and are getting better all the time. This is why making the final this year is extra special.
“Coaching wise I’ve learned that man management is the key and how to bite my lip at times and I still keep in touch with former coach Paul Cook and it’s great that he’s had such a successful season with the Giants.
“Overall 2009 has been very satisfying for me in my debut season. I’ve been proud of the effort and help everyone concerned with the club have given me from day one but our goal is to win the grand final!” added Butterill who is hoping that the Amber and Black’s loyal army of fans will be in Cheshire next Sunday to cheer on his side
Tickets can be purchased from the RFL with the Buffaloes running a fleet of coaches to the Grand Final. For more details contact the RFL 0844-856-1113 or visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk. To book a place on the Bramley coaches please contact Pam on 07972097884.