A Warrington Wolves coach will have his loyalties put to the test tonight in the club’s final pre-season game.
Alex Eckley joined the Warrington coaching staff this summer and is heading into his third season as a North Wales Crusaders player.
The Welsh outfit will make the trip to the Halliwell Jones Stadium leaving Eckley in an unusual position of choosing between his clubs.
He remained tight-lipped on who he’s supporting.
He said: “I’m not going to say who I want to win!”
Speaking before the game, the former John Moore’s University student explained his role in tonight’s match.
“Considering they’re playing each other, it is going to be mixed feelings for myself,” he said.
“How will I approach the game? I will approach it like any other game, it doesn’t matter about the opposition and that’s to make sure the Warrington lads get everything they need pre-game, during the game, doing my roles I’d do on any matchday.
“I hope both teams get what they can out of the game.”
The 23-year-old will be working as a coach tonight and not playing in the fixture.
But he is expecting a competitive contest.
“I think it will be close, I hope he lads that play for Warrington enjoy the experience… for the Crusaders boys it will be a tough challenge for them,” he said.
With the season starting next week, Warrington are expected to field a youthful side.
Eckley confirmed: “I think it will make the game more exciting, I’m looking forward to seeing some of the young boys and showcase their talent for the first time. Or showcase it again in some circumstances.
“Of course, there’s on eye on the Leeds match, first game of the Super League, it’s a must win for Warrington.”
He went on to explain his satisfaction with how both clubs are prepared for the new season.
“For Crusaders, I’m very happy with how the squad is looking and training. We want to finish first but if not, the play-off places are a must,” he said.
“For Warrington, last season was one of the worst I can remember so it’s about hitting the ground running. This game is important for the start of that.”
The ex-St. Helen’s academy player is in a position very few, if any, find themselves in but he will need to rely on his professionalism for both teams to benefit.
Listen to the full interview on SoundCloud, link below: