Players and parents hit by the Panthers’ injury curse

Bridlington Rangers Panthers u13s
Bridlington Rangers Panthers u13s

If Jurgen Klopp thinks he has an injury crisis at Liverpool, he should think himself lucky he is not manager of Bridlington Rangers Panthers.

The under 13s team can count themselves as one of the unluckiest in the country after a casualty list which has included broken bones, a dislocated hip and a bizarre eye problem.

Bridlington Rangers Panthers in action against Burlington Jackdaws u13s this season.

Bridlington Rangers Panthers in action against Burlington Jackdaws u13s this season.

And the curse is not just reserved for the players, because not long after the Panthers signed Ben Baillie, his mum Lisa fell at work and broke her ankle.

Manager Andy Potts said: “We started the season really well with a full complement in the squad, winning four of the first five pre-season games.

“Within a week we had lost four players through long term injury, includinggoal keeper Emily Asquith who broke her leg at the skate park.

“This all coincided with two being out ill and another player away with their family.

“I remember that week really well. I was scared to pick up the phone just in case I received another message saying somebody else would not be available through injury or illness.”

Despite the run of bad luck, the Panthers refused to cancel any of their games and often had to start with just 10 players

“I was so impressed with the players over this period,” said Potts. “Results were not particularly good, as you can imagine, but never once did the players on the field ever give up or show any signs of not wanting to be there.

“They were even offered to not play some games and give the points away because we could not field a full team but the team flatly refused and were adamant that we should play the games.

“The players on the field were also supported on many occasions by their injured team mates who continued to come down to games, home and away, on crutches and with arms in a cast to cheer their team-mates on.”

To bolster their numbers, they signed Baillie, but within two weeks, the Panthers jinx struck again, affecting his mum, although it did not stop him being available for matches.

“All through this period the team has never failed to amaze the coaches in just how dedicated they all are,” said Potts.

“They really do battle for each other and they are a team in the fullest meaning of the word. They are a wonderful set of kids who are an absolute pleasure to coach and we are immensely proud of each and every one of them.

“We are also quite lucky because the parents are great and very supportive of the coaching staff.”