The aim is to help develop rugby league in the community in the Rochdale area to the benefit of Hornets Rugby League, Bradford Bulls and the young players in the Rochdale Rugby League Service area.
The agreement will allow the transfer of players between the two clubs to help the development of players and both clubs will benefit; Hornets will have the opportunity of having Super League coached players playing for them and the Bulls will benefit from developing players from the Rochdale area into potential Super League players. The game of rugby league benefits from the scheme attracting and helping develop young players in the Rochdale area.
Joe Pitts, Chief Operating Director of Rochdale Hornets Rugby League, said: “This is fantastic for the development of players in the Rochdale Community. Previously we could offer young players the opportunity of playing for our Under 17 team, but now if they have the potential they can look forward to being developed by a Super League club with the stature of the Bradford Bulls and either being successful and being offered a contact there or being allowed to return to us with so much more experience. We will also have the opportunity of playing fringe Bulls players in our team, which again will have many spin-offs and will help the development of our own players.
“We can look forward to a pre-season friendly against Bradford Bulls in 2011 and they will help us with raising funding through grants, dinners, various launches and general front office and back office support. For a club with our limited resources this is an excellent opportunity for us to develop and to push forward with our vision over the next three years with the mentorship and guidance of a club that has been there and done it all. When you consider that at the start of 2009 we were in administration this is a fantastic opportunity for us.”
Paul Medley, Bradford Bulls’ Head of Youth Development, said: “One of Bradford Bulls’ aims is to make a consistent and quality commitment to promoting and developing rugby league in the community at ‘grass roots’ level, working with schools and amateur clubs as well as in the professional and semi-professional game. Through this partnership with the Hornets we will assist players and coaches develop their individual rugby league skills to help them maximise their potential.
“This will undoubtedly benefit the Hornets club which in turn benefits the Rochdale community as a whole. Rochdale and Bradford may be in different counties but in reality they are virtual neighbours with much in common and sharing a tremendous Rugby League heritage.”