WIBSEY RUFC look to be alive and kicking once again, with one man looking to resurrect the Bradford club.

Player availability issues over the past couple of seasons have been at an all-time high for Wibsey, and that saw the demise of the historic rugby union club.

However, with the new season slowly approaching, former Old Otliensians’ player-coach Darren Greenwood has taken it upon himself to get a Wibsey first team playing again.

It’s going to be a challenge for the new boss as the club currently have no finance or committee, but Greenwood is determined to get Wibsey’s roots growing again.

The new head coach, who has been promoting the reimagining of Wibsey RUFC across the club’s social media pages, oversaw his first pre-season training session on Wednesday evening. Four players attended the session, but it’s only the start of a long process to get the club back in action admitted Greenwood.

He said: “For me, the dream would be to have 20 players at our sessions because then we can really kick on. However, it’s about taking baby steps because I’ve got to build on it naturally and slowly, as at the minute I’m a bit of a one-man band.

“Once we start getting the team back on the field and people start to see what we are trying to achieve, then hopefully some individuals will buy into it and volunteer to be on the committee and coaching team. At the minute, it’s literally just me.”

The new Wibsey RUFC will play in the AWW Central North Merit League for the forthcoming campaign, and Greenwood believes that it’s the perfect starting ground for his team.

He said: “It’s going to take time to rebuild Wibsey; this is a project. Playing in the AWW league is something that as a club Wibsey aren’t used to. However, it will help us build a solid foundation slowly, and naturally to help the club push on for years to come.

“Wibsey have a fantastic history and a great heritage, so it would be great to be a part of the next batch of Wibsey RUFC legends, so guiding this club back to the Yorkshire Counties would be a dream.”


Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Darren Greenwood takes Old Otliensians forwardDarren Greenwood takes Old Otliensians forward (Image: Picasa)

Greenwood plied his trade at Old Otliensians last season and guided his side to a 3rd place finish in the Counties Four Yorkshire division, which saw them just miss out on promotion.

That being said, following relegation heartbreak from Counties Three the season before, Ensians bounced back brilliantly to have a joyous season under the watchful eye of Greenwood, and it was an experience that stood out for the new Wibsey boss.

He said: “We had a fantastic year at Old Otliensians last year.

“I was able to save them from the brink of folding because we had consistent numbers, we played a great brand of rugby and we found success on the field. We did just miss out on promotion, but we got to the Aire-Wharfe final, so it was a great year overall.

“Last season showed that I’ve got the pedigree to do it and bring a squad back from near distinction to a team that is functioning weekly. It gives me more confidence ahead of the Wibsey role.

Greenwood added: “I’ve been speaking with the England Rugby Union and they’ve said that if you get Wibsey back on the ground, you get that team going again; you’ve done what nobody else can.

“I’ve been told I’m a motivator of men; that’s who I am, so I’m extremely driven to achieve this.”

Discussing his reasons behind taking the Wibsey job, Greenwood said: “At Ensians there was talk of bringing in experienced coaches to help me despite the great season we had. I didn’t really agree with that in all honesty, particularly for my own personal development.

“They wanted to have a vote within the club regarding the coaching decision, so I decided to step away. I was contacted about joining Halifax, but then restarting Wibsey was suggested to me, and I immediately jumped at the idea.

“It’s a challenge, but I’m a motivated individual and I’d love to help bring Wibsey back to where they belong, which is in the Yorkshire Counties division.”

Looking ahead to the short-term future for Wibsey, Greenwood said: “As I’ve said, it’s going to take time for this project to get going. To start with, it’s important that we promote the club as much as possible so that we can get good numbers down at training.

“I’d love to say that we’ll be targeting promotion from the get-go, but we can’t look at the situation like that. It’s a rebuild and we need to take it one step at a time.”

If you want to join the Wibsey revolution, or for more information on training sessions, contact head coach Darren Greenwood on 07905 519457.

Players must be 17 and over.