Chesters’ Chat – Pre-season pain

As pre-season training gets underway, Ealing Trailfinders’ wing Phil Chesters shares his thoughts on a player’s life at the Club.

Pre-season training: Two words that sends a chill up the spine of every rugby player across the country. Making the most of the short time we have off is crucial because before you know it you are back into the swing of things. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has enjoyed a few beers and plenty of barbeque food over the past six weeks and I must just give a shout out to the Vegas crew, who all made it back in one piece… just.

We all make promises at the end of the season to do some training over the summer, whether it is some running or a few extra gym sessions, but I kept none of those promises (sorry Nick Rees).

The first couple of sessions are usually the hardest, giving the body a real shock following the off season break by going straight into TESTING.

No pain, no gain

Basically the fitness testing involves running yourself into the ground (not wanting to drop out first) until your legs and lungs can’t carry you any further and the strength testing based in the gym pretty much means you lift as much weight as you possibly can until failure – not my forte I must say, again sorry Reesy.

I have been playing at the club for five seasons, however driving through the gates for the first couple of sessions I felt a little bit more excited than I thought I would. There have been lots of changes both on and off the pitch over the off season, one of the main ones obviously being Ben Ward taking over as new the Director of Coaching (even though he is enjoying calling himself the boss a little too much).

He has some very exciting ideas and is very ambitious for not only the coming season, but seasons to come. This is evident with the squad that he has assembled, by bringing in plenty of new players, but most importantly players he believes will help drive the club forwards and help us to have a successful season.

I would like to just take this opportunity to welcome all of the new players. You are joining a fantastic club and these are exciting times for everyone involved, so get stuck in, work hard, but most of all enjoy it. Pre-season gives us the opportunity to get acquainted, push each other and bond together, so we become more than just teammates… we become mates.

The supporters will be pleased to hear that there will be plenty of social events over the coming weeks and months to not only get us through the gruelling pre-season regime, but to also allow us to interact more with you guys.

Thinking about Jack

It all starts this Wednesday evening where there is a 20:20 cricket match against Ealing Trailfinders cricket club, so get down to the club, catch up with some familiar faces, but more importantly meet some of the new players who will be running out at Vallis Way this season.

Finally I just wanted to say a brief note to some of our supporters who may remember Jack Fishwick. He played for Ealing Trailfinders for two seasons and was very popular both amongst his fellow teammates and with the supporters.

Unfortunately in March Jack suffered a life changing rugby injury which has left him currently quadriplegic. It’s obviously devastating news for all involved, and for it to happen to such an outgoing, active and full of life 26-year-old doesn’t seem fair. However against the odds Fish is fighting hard and tackling the challenges with heart and optimism, but the road ahead is long and by no means simple for him and his family.

There is a private blog that has been set up for people to follow his progress and leave him messages of support to keep him motivated on his recovery. If any of you would like to get in touch to offer your support then feel free to email me on