Featherstone are one win away from securing their first silverware in almost 20 years and club chairman Mark Campbell believes that the stage is set for Rovers to return to their former glory.
Campbell, himself a former Featherstone player, has been heavily involved with the side’s re-emergence as one of West Yorkshire’s top clubs this season and he is hoping all the hard work will come to fruition when the team compete in the Co-operative Championship Grand Final at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium on Sunday.
“We’ve put in three or four years of hard graft at the club,” said Campbell. “The fact that we’re now in a Grand Final is a just culmination of all that effort.
“We’ve made great strides to escape from the bottom of the table where we were a few years ago. It’s great to see us up there, able to compete with sides like Halifax and Widnes and hopefully we can make the most of this season.”
Featherstone’s renaissance has been remarkable and the club’s success on the pitch this season has been rewarded off it, as coach Daryl Powell and half-back Liam Finn scooped the Co-operative Coach of the Year and Player of the Year awards respectively, just another sign that the club are taking huge strides forward.
“To have our side winning the two top awards in the league is a great reflection on all the progress the club has made,” said Campbell. “Credit is due to everyone involved within the club for all the hard work that’s been put in.
“A few years ago our club wasn’t at a good enough standard to attract promising young players but everything’s changed and we’re now geared at producing top quality players. We’ve seen that with the player of the season awards because although Liam Finn won, there could easily have six or seven other Featherstone players in there with a shout.”
With a new set of Super League licences to be granted next season, Featherstone will be hoping to submit a substantial application and reaching the Grand Final is just the first of many targets the club has set.
“Getting into Super League is the dream goal for us,” said Campbell. “We’re building the club steadily each year. We’ve brought in a whole new youth development system this season and next year we’ll have an under-18 side in the Super League Academy league.
“After the Grand Final our focus will be on increasing the crowds that we get to games. There’s a big community following here, when I played for the club 20 years ago Featherstone were one of the top sides and the town is starting to buzz again now and everyone I’ve spoken to is really looking forward to what promises to be a great Grand Final.”