It has been particularly pleasing to see so many obviously keen young members training hard early in the season, in fact at the moment the only disquieting features seem to be the lack of junior runners and the ravages of trench diggers on our new found course behind Gardenside.
It appears that the junior team will have some difficulty in raising the six members required for a full team this season, for the demands of National Service have been heavy and there is a possibility that Brian Woolford and Colin Harris will be in the
Forces by next year, which would leave us without a junior team at all. There is no doubt that junior members at present in the Forces will do their best to represent the club on as many occasions as possible, but I feel that once again Wallasey will not be a force to be reckoned with in Merseyside athletics.
However looking on the brighter side it is now fairly certain that we will have a full senior team, an extremely good youth's team and boys who will be gaining invaluable experience in championship running this year.
As always we will have to look to our younger members to bring honours to Wallasey. In the past our boys and youths have distinguished themselves by their forceful running and strong packing. We have also had more than our fair share of young stars, Don Anderson, Roy Parry, Wally Hogarth, Roy Shaw and Ron Barlow to name but a few. This year I feel that the youths will be the stars, with Ron Barlow assured of a place in the first three in local championships, and the backing up of such runners as Tony Townsend, Tony Farrel and Dave White should put this team to the forefront of Merseyside cross-country.
This year the youths will be participating for the first time in the national championship to held this year at Warwick.
The team, though young, have already had a great deal of experience and should do well provided they can take the rather boisterous tactics used in this race and are not overawed by the large numbers of competitors.
This season Wallasey are promoting two important local races - the H. S. Finney Trophy and the Liverpool & District Championships. Probable competitors will be Ken Gates, the brilliant Liverpool runner who has defeated Gordon Pirie and Billy McMinnis, the Sutton marathon star who is now probably the best in Britain at the distance. More information on these races will be given as it becomes available by the successor, Tony Farrel who will be writing these notes, as 'Spike' is shortly to be seen wearing khaki instead of red.
The club have more than a good chance of distinguishing themselves this year; all that is needed is for someone to bind the youths together as a team with plenty of team spirit. It must be realised that this cannot be done by strong arm methods. They must not be ordered to run together, rather the accent should be laid on friendly easy 'jogs' once a week with no-one racing, and the emphasis on 'fun' rather than hard training.
This method has been tried and the team produced was about the best boys and later youth team the club has ever had. Anyone interested in joining the club should contact R. Hubbard, 44 Tollemache Street or Mr. C. W. Gee, 78 King Street. All members are reminded of the Annual General Meeting to be held at Roycroft Hall on 23rd September. This is likely to be a very important meeting and all members should do there utmost to attend.