Salford Supporters Trust are pleased to announce we will be fundraising for the Reserve Team in a relaunched Reserve Grade competition for the 2020 season.
The Reserve Grade competition in 2020 will be administered by the Rugby Football League. The fixture schedule will be finalised during the winter but is expected to run on a home and away basis, with no play-offs and will feature Bradford Bulls, Castleford Tigers, Huddersfield Giants, Hull FC, Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos, London Broncos, Newcastle Thunder, Salford Red Devils, St Helens, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington Wolves, Widnes Vikings and Wigan Warriors.
We spoke to Ian Blease about the Supporters Trust helping to fundraise for the new Reserve Team not long after the RFL announcement of its return. He emphasised the importance of a strong pathway to the first team by stating “In recent seasons, this club has proven its ability to bring out the untapped potential in players to unearth superstars and this structure will give us the opportunity to do that on a larger scale. This means we have started to increase our search for local talent across the Greater Manchester area. There will now be an additional pathway in place for players to reach the highest level, preventing talent from being wasted and adding to the entertainment provided for supporters.”
Robert Elstone, Super League’s CEO, also said:
“Super League is about superstars – players that get us on the edge of our seats, players that make our jaws drop, players that inspire us. Our success will depend on our ability to find, nurture and create the superstars of tomorrow. It’s why development pathways like this are so critical to the future success of the game. It is essential that we offer appropriate challenges to our young players on their journeys into Super League.”
After the meeting with Ian Blease, board members unanimously decided the Reserve Team would be our sole fundraising focus. The players who have come through Halifax’s reserve team have often been talked about, especially considering their Challenge Cup heroics in 2019. We therefore wanted to visit Halifax and talk to their Supporters Trust about how they run their reserve team. We discovered to help fundraise for the reserve team Halifax Supporters Trust run events throughout the year including monthly quizzes and ladies nights, they also take any old shirts for rugby league clubs where £5 is donated towards the running of the Reserve Team, this shirt donation alone has raised over £1000.
We decided after the very informative visit at Halifax to have another meeting with Ian Blease and Paul King to see what figure the hopeful target of our fundraising would be. This was decided at £40k. This figure will help to pay players, buy kits, travel to away fixtures, pay for physios and other backroom staff as well as much more. The academy will be made up from a large pool of players from non-playing first team members to potentially even university players where Tyrone McCarthy is currently coaching The University of Salfords Rugby League side.
We will be holding many events and fundraising activities throughout the year, including selling heritage prints for past players. If you visit our sub-sections in the reserves you can also find out more information about the sponsor a try initiative and the Facebook auction page that will be raising money for the Reserve Team.
We look forward to watching a Reserve Team for Salford again in 2020 with 2019 Grand Final stars Niall Evalds and Jake Bibby just two members of a long plethora of stars coming through the original set-up. A fundraising thermometer will be placed on our website to show where we are with reaching our overall goal of £40k, we thank you as always for your generous support.