RHU Amateurs boss Stewart Maule has welcomed the start of the official link-up between his side and Helensburgh as the beginning of the new season approaches.

The clubs announced the historic partnership in April and will have two teams competing under the Rhu name in 2021-22, with one in the FN Teamwear Caledonian League and another in the Greater Glasgow Premier AFL.

With pre-season preparations well under way, Maule is delighted to be back on the training pitch – currently the facilities at Helensburgh Rugby Club due to the pitch at the DCF Park undergoing reseeding – as he hailed the two sides for making the transition so easy – although he has been hit by players having to self-isolate.

Speaking to the Advertiser, he said: “The sessions themselves have been great and the players that have managed to attend have shown a great attitude.

“It’s been great having both sets of players and coaches at training. Most of the guys know each other so we’ve all integrated well.

“We have been hit with more players having to self-isolate than at any other time during the pandemic, so it has been frustrating for everyone.

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“The facilities that the rugby club have allowed us to use are first class and they even allowed us to store our training equipment there.

“We honestly can’t thank them enough for helping us.”

The club also welcomed former academy coordinator at Chesterfield FC, John Knapper, to training in the last few weeks.

Knapper, who holds a UEFA B License, was in the area on holiday and used to work with former Argyll and Bute football development officer Dylan Kerr at the English side.

Kerr got in contact with Maule and the three of them managed to arrange for Knapper to hold a session.

Maule has revealed it was great to have someone of Knapper’s calibre in attendance and admits it wasn’t just the players who learned from him.

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He explained: “John’s enthusiasm and love of football is infectious so the players absolutely loved having him here.

“Having guest coaches makes the players focus a wee bit more and ups the intensity levels and with John’s knowledge and experience the coaches learnt a thing or two as well.

“He was an absolute gentleman and is welcome back any time.”

The club’s Caledonian team started their pre-season with a 3-1 win over Westcliff last Saturday that was followed up by a comfortable 9-0 win over Cambuslang Community FC, from the Glasgow Colleges FA, on Tuesday night.

The GGPAFL team were set to get their pre-season schedule under way this Saturday, July 17, against Newshot at DCF Park.