GREAT Harwood have been having a splashing time - and they are hoping to see the benefits on the field.
Boss John Hughes took his team to Hyndburn Sports Centre last week for a training session with a difference in the swimming pool - and he felt it was a success.
"You have got to introduce variety into training and the lads had a great time," said Hughes. "We are going to go once every two weeks and hope it pays off!"
Whatever training Harwood have been getting has been working for the players as they are still unbeaten in the North West Counties Division Two and are through to the quarter-final of the Division Two Trophy.
Harwood disposed of Daisy Hill in a 2-0 win on Saturday and will travel to Winsford in the last eight. Andy Taylor opened the scoring for Harwood against the North West Counties League bottom side in the 64th minute with a header. Then, six minutes later, they made it two when tricky midfielder James Dean fired into the top corner of the net.
"James did well on Saturday, he is a good athlete," said Hughes. Harwood should have had more with Darren Rogers, Neil Kennedy and Paul Mashiter all guilty of missing chances.
"It was an understrength side but we won again!" said the Showground chief. "It is good to be in the cup quarter-final but I can't say enough how important it is for us to do well in the league. That is obviously the priority."
It is another cup competition on Saturday - the League Challenge Cup first round where First Division Nantwich are the visitors to the Showground (ko 3pm). Nantwich are currently tenth in the table but have won just one of their last eight games
"I would rather have a league game but there you go!" said Hughes.
Star striker Matty Derbyshire is expected to be back although he is struggling with a groin and knee injury. And Sam Pope may get a start. He used to play for Langho Under 17s and was snapped up by Harwood and has impressed. He went to look around Manchester United's training ground with Derbyshire last week.
Defender Ryan Parr missed last week's victory as he was working but is expected to be back in the side this weekend.