A SEASON of challenge and adversity is finally coming to an end for Wibsey RUFC.

The side from Bradford have been hit with difficulties throughout the season, with player (un)availability the ongoing issue for previous manager, Harry Hall.

Miraculously, Wibsey won't finish at the foot of the Yorkshire Three table despite having 14 games postponed out of a possible 26, with other sides such as Old Otliensians having similar difficulties in regard to player availability.

James Birbeck was captaining the side until recently, but he has since moved on to a behind the scenes role at the club.

Reflecting on what has been a challenging campaign for Wibsey, the former captain said: “It has been a real struggle this season with being able to raise a team, and keep the players interested. Covid caused us a number of difficulties.

“It was challenging trying to get those players we had before Covid to return. Many didn't return and that’s why we have seen ourselves under achieve this season.

“It was extremely hard for us to be able to get our mindset right heading into any fixture because you always had that doubt about whether the game would actually go ahead. We'd always be thinking about if we had enough men, or the other team had enough men. How do you prepare for a situation like that and how can you get the group motivated? It's difficult.”

Birbeck added: “When we have played, we have worked well as a team and looked strong, so there is certainly something to build on going into next season.”

Wibsey are currently in the process of a staff restructure and are looking at ways to aid their squad in preparation for next season, with the club hoping to get back to its best.

Birbeck said: “The restructure is underway, with a number of new staff members set to be announced, including a new head coach after Harry Hall stepped down.

“Along with that we are pushing for a big recruitment drive, and our rugby league side are going to help us with that, allowing us to use some of their players when we need.

“But obviously we want more rugby union players, so we will be looking to encourage as many players as possible from the surrounding areas to join up with us.

“From what I've seen this season when we’ve played, I think we've got every reason to be confident about next year. It's massive that we've got that link between the junior set up and the league side because without them we wouldn't have any new blood coming through. We are already looking forward to the new campaign and I believe it can be a good one.”

Wibsey were in line to take on Hemsworth this weekend, a game which would have seen two sides from the bottom end of the table battle it out.

However, with the persistent problem of player availability taking place, the game will not go ahead and Wibsey will finish the season second from bottom.

Despite their on field issues, they'll be certainly hoping to bounce back in the next campaign.