Later today we travel to Stockport as part of our preparations to take on Sale Sharks at Edgeley Park tomorrow evening (19th November). We have our final practice session at the Stoop this morning, before getting on the coach to negotiate the wonderful British motorway system!
Today is a hugely important day for NEC Harlequins. This evening at 6.00pm, our planning application for the new West stand will be heard by the London Borough of Richmond planning committee. The importance of this decision cannot be underestimated. A 'yes' will allow us to grow the business and generate more income for the benefit of the club and the First XV; a 'no' will leave us with one of the smallest grounds in the Zurich Premiership and little or no new sources of income.
If you are able to get to York House in Twickenham for 6.00pm this evening (Thursday 18th November) your support would be greatly appreciated. The squad will be keeping in contact with the meeting by mobile phone; a successful application will be a huge boost to everyone involved with Quins.
We are taking a squad of 23 players to Sale; the team that played so well against Saracens last week plus Geo Cronje. Geo has almost fully recovered from the knee injury he had prior to travelling to the UK and we want to get him involved with the squad as soon as possible to help him get to know his new team-mates better.
On the injury front, both Ace Tiatia and Maurice Fitz Gerald continue to progress well and should be fit and back in full training very soon. Jim Evans is also doing well and hopes to be back in full training by the end of January. Jim will be travelling to Sale with our kit man Ed Spokes to act as a 'water boy' during the match.
The win last week against Saracens and the quality of the performance that went with it has given everyone involved with the team a boost of confidence after so many near misses over recent weeks. However, there is no point in achieving just one win and then not building on it. We need to get on a roll; we need to perform at the same level week in, week out.
If we do that we may not win every week, but we will surely win more games than we will lose. Our position in the Zurich Premiership is still far from satisfactory. It is important that we continue to believe that what we are doing is right, and that we continue as a group to battle and work hard to achieve the desired results.
Your support at the Stoop last Friday was fantastic. I appreciate that with Sale moving tomorrow evenings game around like a yoyo, first Friday evening, then Sunday and then back to Friday evening, that not many of you will be able to make the journey to Stockport to support the team.
Hopefully for those of you that are at Edgeley Road tomorrow evening, we will make the long journey worth the effort.
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.