IT HAS been a tough season in Yorkshire One for rock-bottom Bradford Salem, but when your 45-year-old player/coach Glenn Morrison is still having to feature regularly, you can understand why.

Former Bulls star Morrison does not really want to be out on the field, but with injuries decimating the side and youngsters having to be thrown in at the deep end, the affable Australian feels obliged to help out.

Salem go into tomorrow’s home game with Selby off the back of a brutal 79-7 defeat at Bridlington, but Morrison insisted: “We were just unfortunate.

“We had a lot of players unavailable with injuries and a couple missing through Covid, which meant there were quite a few lads who debuted and made that step up to the first team.

“It was a tough one for them, but we’re proud of them as coaching staff, as they did their best.

“It’s been a frustrating season really, as we’ve had so many injuries to senior players that we’ve not really had the full squad fit at the same time at all.

“But we’re lucky that there’s no relegation this season because of the restructure, as it’s meant we can work and train with the young boys, and they’ve been able to stand up and get games under their belts.”

Unlike neighbours Bradford & Bingley in North One East, Salem are not cut adrift at the foot of the table.

Morrison said: “We’ll be trying not to finish bottom this season, and we’re capable, as there are games we should have won that we didn’t.

“We’ve been involved in a few tight games that could have gone in our favour, but we just didn’t get the bounce of the ball.

“When we have everyone back on the park, we’ll be a lot better, and we should have a few players coming back from long-term injuries in the next week or two.

“We’re hoping to win a few more games before the season finishes to give us some confidence going into the next one.”

Salem have a passable home record in the league this term, with three wins from nine, and tomorrow’s visitors Selby have blown hot and cold over the course of the campaign.

Morrison said: “Hopefully we can do something against Selby, especially if we can get some of those players who are 50/50 at the moment out on the field.

“That always helps, having those senior players back, but we’re not going to risk their fitness.”

As for still being a first-team regular himself, Morrison laughed: “I’m not feeling too bad but I am a bit sore.

“I’m closer to 50 than 40, so I was hoping to just be coaching by now, but we’ve been having to put such young sides out, that it wouldn’t have felt right me being on the sidelines and letting them be thrown to the lions.

“I’ve helped out where I can, and touch wood I should be fine to play this weekend, but hopefully I won’t have to play much, if at all, next season.”