Though rumours abounded over the past few days that the fixture might already be cancelled, the West Coast Trojans entered game day morning with the goal to travel and play their Week Five fixture against conference favourites, the Manchester Titans.
However, earlier this morning as the team prepared for the away trip, it became very apparent that the Scottish side simply wouldn’t have the numbers to compete safely in this fixture – only 17 active players available to make the lengthy trip down to Manchester.
West Coast Trojans Head Coach, Gary McNey, shared the following statement with DC:
“Unfortunately we have pulled from today’s fixture.
Since the Rams game we have lost 17 players and had 17 available for today, of them 9 were rookies with minimum game time. As HC I was not prepared to throw these guys into the fire, therefore for safety reasons we have decided to forfeit the game.
We will work with the Titans and look to assist and if possible to cover any costs they may have. The club will now hold an EGM to see if we can continue and complete the remainder of our games.”
Though the Trojans felt they had recruited well during the off-season, they have been unfortunate to pick up a number of injuries very early this year. For the sake of the Trojans’ players, and the teams upcoming opponents, the hope is that the Scotsmen can right the ship ahead of their next fixture – 11 June, at the Newcastle Vikings.
Were the Trojans to fail to complete this fixture, or any of their remaining eight fixtures this season, by new league rules introduced ahead of this season the club would be forced to return to associate status and work towards re-joining the league in the bottom tier as soon as they are able.
For the Titans, this means a frustrating delay to their adult side debuting in their new home at the National Speedway Stadium – which will now be Week Six, against the Doncaster Mustangs.