THE chairman of Whitchurch Rugby Club has praised the te town for their continued support of the club and says he is looking forward to the rest of the season.

After 13 games the Edgeley Road side currently lie sixth in the league, ahead of what chairman John Oakden would consider bigger towns and cities.

But John adds that coming from a 'smaller' town means Whitchurch has a healthy production line of players, with hundreds of youngsters off all ages turning out for training on a Sunday morning.

"Whitchurch may only have a population of under 10,000 people, but it has a rugby club that competes with towns and cities over ten times bigger," said John.

"An away game for the reds can see them travelling to conurbations such as Hereford, Worcester, Stoke-on-Trent, Dudley, Droitwich and Kidderminster.

"Despite this, Whitchurch currently lie sixth in Midlands League One, ahead of many of these.

"With no major industry in the area to attract players from other parts of the country, Edgeley Park has been able to create its own production line via the Mini and Junior section.

"Anyone who has been down to the club on a Sunday morning and seen over two hundred youngsters training and playing rugby with enormous enthusiasm and energy could not fail to see where the future of the game and of the club lies.

"The members of the club enjoy the best playing surface in the county and can only be compared to the grounds of professional clubs."

John has also heaped praise on the volunteers and coaches at the club, all of which have helped to club to have a positive season.

"The volunteers who keep the pitches in such incredible order cannot be thanked enough," added John.

"The club also enjoys the services of three outstanding coaches – Scott Sturdy and Noel Speed who look after the first team are rugby professionals; Scott being the rugby development officer for the North Midlands and Noel being a coach at Sale Sharks academy.

"Max Pridmore is the RDO for Shropshire and looks after the Colts and has just taken over the coaching for the second team as well."

When asked by other clubs how such a successful club can come from such a small town, and how Whitchurch is able to have these superb facilities, John says it is thanks to the dedication of everyone involved as well as the financial aid that is received from local sponsors and donors.

Finally, John says Whitchurch Rugby Club is looking forward to the rest of the season with confidence.

The Reds welcome second place, Kenilworth, on Saturday with a kick off time of 2.15pm.