The inspirational leadership of captain Stuart Vincent has been highlighted as a key factor in Ilkley Rugby Club’s double-winning season.
Head of rugby Rhys Morgan is full of praise for the job the long-serving full back performed as the Dalesmen lifted the SSE Yorkshire Division One title and Yorkshire Shield.
And one of his first jobs in the coming weeks will be to encourage Vincent to remain in the lead role next season.
Morgan said: “I was really impressed with the way Vinny went about the job. He set a great example in training and on the field, as well as commanding great respect in the dressing room.“He isn’t a captain who shouts and bawls.
Vinny doesn’t have a lot to say but what he says carries real meaning. It is a case of fewer words making more noise.
“We really saw the best of Vinny as a player and captain. The previous season had been a tough one for him as he missed a lot of games through injury.
“This time he was injury free and was able to produce performances and leadership of the highest quality.”Vincent and injured back- row forward Iain McKenzie are the only two players at Stacks Field who have played in North One East for Ilkley.
The Dalesmen were relegated back to Yorkshire One after just one season, and the current squad were determined to earn the experienced pair another crack in the higher division.
Morgan said: “I hope that both players will want to carry on playing key roles for us. It is a decision each of them has to make, and I won’t be putting them under pressure.
“I will outline my plans for the coming season and we will see how they feel about things. In Iain’s case, his first priority is to recover from his knee reconstruction.
“It will be a good while before he is fit enough to train. If he decides he wants to play, I want him to play for us. He is a great player and it is a mark of the regard his colleagues hold him in that they wanted to win him the chance to play in North One East again.”