2002 March Squadbuilder Meeting

The March Squadbuilder took place in the swanky new Vice Presidents lounge at the Halliwell Jones stadium with the main attractions being the club’s new recruits Danny Lima and John Wilshere. Both players gave a light-hearted insight into settling at the club, life around Nat Wood and pretty much everything else as no topic was off-limits.

John Wilshere started by explaining why the “Wilshere wave” had caused him so much confusion and team-mates had had to tell him to acknowledge the fans. No-one had the bottle to ask what else “Wilshere, Wilshere, give us a wave” could actually mean. Danny Lima is still overwhelmed by the vocal response of the fans, and says he’s had problems hearing calls due to the excellent vocal support. On their playing positions Danny said his goal is to get a starting spot at prop and if he achieves it he’ll be “stoked” (apparently that’s good). John is happy to play anywhere across the backline and enjoyed his recent freedom at full-back after playing in the centres last year. One of them might get a new role as they revealed news of a training injury that might keep a certain player out for a few weeks.

John tipped his wing colleague Dean Gaskell for future GB honours and reckoned quite a few of the club’s young stars are good enough to play in the NRL. The two gave an insight into the team spirit in the current squad telling stories of the practical jokes Nat Wood has been getting them with, including Danny explaining (and admitting) why Nat Wood had accused him of “screaming like a woman” in the press. Chris Leikvoll seems to be the only one keeping one step ahead of Nat Wood after repeated japes have been foiled. The pair also said how prestigious the Challenge Cup is down-under, and how much it would mean to actually play in the final should the club be able to get there. Danny Lima then made a presentation to the club on behalf of Squadbuilder for the contribution to players’ wages for last season as part of the scheme. Big thanks to Danny Lima and John Wilshere for coming along to provide excellent entertainment.

Finally Neil Dowson from the club was on-hand to answer any questions, which mainly centred around standing and ticketing arrangements. The next meeting is on Wednesday 21st April, when the grading phase of the under 21s will have been completed and the full fixture list issued – the aim from then is to avoid clashes with under 21s games.

Thanks go to Squadbuilder member Martyn Ford for the report from the meeting.