Mike Abbott Pre-Workington Town
June 4, 2023
Cornwall RLFC head coach says the late change of kick-off time for today’s Betfred League 1 match against Workington Town is ‘hugely frustrating’.
With the match originally scheduled for a 1.30pm kick-off, to assist with Cornwall’s mammoth 900+mile round trip, Workington then told the club on Wednesday that this time was no longer possible.
With the Rugby Football League also involved to try and find a solution, it was eventually agreed that the game would start at 2.30pm, with the home club providing after-match food to be served straight to Cornwall’s team coach.
However, this situation, according to Abbott citing player welfare concerns, ‘is not ideal’.
“If we are being honest, it is the back end of the trip to Workington which is difficult,” Abbott told cornwallrlfc.co.uk. “Travelling is travelling and on the way up, we are just on the road a couple of hours earlier. We are now going to be getting back later and my squad is full of working blokes.
“Their alarm clocks are going to be sounding at the crack of dawn on Monday morning and it is frustrating that we will be getting back later.
“We chat about player welfare and surely this has to be a factor when looking at kick-off times. Playing rugby at this level, with blokes getting banged up the day before, to have to get up after getting back later than we planned, is not ideal and hugely frustrating.”
With matters off the pitch dominating the build-up to a first ever clash between Town and the Choughs, Abbott says that he is hoping to gain encouragement from certain aspects of the recent defeat to North Wales Crusaders.
“The result wasn’t great last week but we have to build off the positive bits,” he added. “I thought the opening 15 minutes in terms of our game plan was almost faultless and near perfection.
“Right up until the final six minutes of the first half it was a similar story but then we knocked on, shut up shop and almost raised the white flag a bit. We never recovered from that and we must start the game against Workington really tight, sticking to our gameplan.
“We need to stick to the plan for longer periods and when the opposition has their 20 minute sticky period, we need to grind it out.”
Abbott could hand a debut to new loan signing Jordan Bull who has moved to the Mem for a two week period from divisional rivals Hunselt.
The Cornwall chief has also confirmed that late calls will be made on George Mitchell (hamstring) and Jack Ray (illness).
“George Mitchell touched upon training this week and he will travel with us,” Abbott remarked. “He will travel with us but we will make a decision nearer to the game.
“Jack needs some match fitness so ideally we will give him another week off to train. But we are a little bit light in the middles and Jack has put his hand up , so we will make a late call on him also.”