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Player Movement at The Bees, Part One

Player Movement at The Bees, Part One

Nick Patterson9 Jun - 12:30
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We will be updating this website with confirmed leavers and joiners. Here are the first Four...

It is inevitable that during every summer break, there will be a rotating door of players coming and going no matter what level the club is playing at. Over the last few seasons, unfortunately for The Bees, the number and quality of players leaving has not been matched entirely by those joining or more accurately by no one joining to replace a departed player.

However, this season, the club is optimistic that the balance can be redressed at least a little bit as Head Coach, Alastair MacDonald has been diligently chasing down contacts to try and pull some new faces down to Wagon Lane. Some of those new faces will be revealed here over the coming weeks, but as a club we know that new players signing are difficult to confirm until we at least see them at pre-season. Unfortunately, we know some players are leaving us. Here are the first four confirmed departures:

Robbie Spencer, Dan Lightowler, Bill Marshall, and Jason Muranka.

Regular followers of the Bees will be aware that the majority of playing time at prop for the Bees over the last couple of seasons has been given to Robbie and Dan. Both have been outstanding for us and present us with a difficult problem in filling their boots for this season. As well as being outstanding for The Bees, Dan has also represented Yorkshire at Under 20 level this season, which is some achievement for someone who started propping about 2 years ago.

Robbie is leaving us to take up a Player/Coach role with Halifax. Robbie has been the cornerstone of the Bees pack at tight head prop and is a hugely popular character amongst the playing squad. Robbie is beginning to wind down his playing career and will be pursuing his level 2 coaching badge as he makes the step from player to Coach.

Ali Macdonald commented on losing his Tight Head Prop :"I can confirm I tried everything to persuade Robbie to stay with us, but he has an opportunity he wants to have a crack at in a different environment and I am now resigned to losing him, but I am sure he goes with everyone's best wishes. I am also sure we might see him back at the Bees at some point in the future, though not as a player but on the sidelines or in the dugout as a quality coach. On a personal note, all I can say is best of luck and go well Buddy."

Dan Lightowler is leaving us to have a crack at Rugby a couple of divisions higher with a move to Morley. Dan will be teaming up with former Bees skipper, Harry Jeffrey at the Maroons. Dan has made unbelievable progress as a loosehead having come late to the game of Rugby and then moving into the front row. when he was 16 or so.

Ali MacDonald commented: "I will be looking forward to see how Dan develops and see how high his ceiling really is. I know he wants to pursue his representative career and he goes with all our best wishes to give it a real go over there at Morley. Hopefully we can lift ourselves up here at Wagon Lane in the next few seasons and entice Dan back into a Bees shirt in a higher division. All I can say is go well, Lightowler Lad."

Our third departure is Will or as we like to call him, Bill, Marshall, who will be returning to his former club, Yarnbury. Bill came to the Bees after serious knee injury threatened to put a stop to his playing career, but Carl Paterson persuaded him to give it another go and he has been a fine addition to our squad over the last two seasons.

Ali said of Will: "The eagle-eyed among our supporters will have spotted that Yarnbury is in the same division as us next season, so there will be opportunities home and away to have a pint or two with him after we put Yarnbury to the sword. Bill has been a fantastic player for us and has played well wherever we have asked him to play, especially when he has stepped in at flyhalf when he is primarily a fullback. We want everything to go well for Bill next season back at Yarnbury, except for the two games when he lines up against us! Again I have to say, Go well, Bill!"

Our final departure is Jason Muranka, who came across to us from a Rugby League background and had to learn union almost on the fly, on a game to game basis. Jason did contribute a couple of fine tries which helped us in a couple of our victories.

MacDonald commented:" Jason is hanging up his Union boots and wants to give League another whirl before hanging up his boots altogether. However, I know from personal experience that your first go at retiring is never your last, and is unlikely to be permanent. The very best of luck to you next season, Jason. Best of Luck Muranka, boi!"

Macdonald finished his comments on the departing players by saying: "Thanks for everything lads, all the best for the future and I am sure this wont be the last time we see you at the Bees or in a Bees shirt. Once a Bee..."

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