Reigning champions Bramley Buffaloes have pulled out of this summer’s Yorkshire Mens League competition.
Citing a lack of players and no head coach, the fans-owned co-operative club, who were revived by supporters in 2004, hope to be back up and running in time for the 2016 season.
Bramley Spokesman Martyn Cheney explained: “We’ve struggled to find a coach following last season’s successful Head Coach, Steve Gill’s decision to step down to spend more time with his family. We will miss Steve but are grateful for his prodigious efforts and continued support. Not having a Coach has badly affected player recruitment, and we have seen stalwarts like Dave Parker retiring from playing, whilst others have moved up to a higher level including the semi-pro ranks. We are always delighted when new opportunities arise for our players. Unfortunately we have been unable to recruit a full squad of players, despite months of searching, and, of those that are committed, most are still playing, understandably with their winter teams until their seasons end.
“We’ve therefore reluctantly decided to pull out of this year’s competition. It’s a big blow given that we won last year’s Grand Final at Castleford but it represents just another twist and turn in what has been a rollercoaster ride since the former professional Bramley club was reformed eleven years ago.“
“Despite having seven fantastic years of success within the fourth tier of the game, it’s never been easy with the re-organisation of the game placing us much further down the pyramid and we have struggled ever since.“
“The Bramley club will not die though. We have too much support within the West Leeds community and a truly unique profile within the game to allow that to happen. We will be holding an Extraordinary General Meeting and we will communicate with our members the details of that shortly.“
“We have established much stronger, sustainable foundations since merging with the Rodley Rockets junior set up a few years ago and we fully intend to be back, fighting fit, in time for the 2016 season,“ added Martyn.