They might be a rival club right now, but Chris Thorman hopes that Newcastle Thunder can make their mark and achieve their Super League dream.
Thorman, 39, will be trying to orchestrate Thunder’s demise as coach of Workington when the rugby league season resumes following the coronavirus lockdown.
He never played for his hometown club, making his Super League debut for Sheffield at 16, and moving on to Huddersfield, London, Parramatta, Hull and York.
The former half-back said: “I do hope they make it one day. Although we are in direct competition right now, and we ran them really close recently, I’ve got a lot of time for what they’ve done.
“They do things the right way. I’m pretty good friends with Mick Hogan, the CEO of Falcons and Thunder, and he was one of my very first rugby league coaches so I’ve got a lot of time and respect for him.
“They’re cherry picking some Cumbrians for the academy, but until us and Whitehaven have one to call their own, they’ve got to do the right thing.
“If they get to Super League, they’ll be there on merit and they’ll deserve to get there if they do.
“When you talk to Mick, he’s very passionate. I know they came out and said that they want to win Super League by 2030 and people think that’s outlandish, but you have to have aspirations and good luck to them.”
Thunder were previously known as Gateshead, who had a year in Super League back in 1999 before their controversial merger with Hull.
A new club was then entered to the Northern Ford Premiership for the 2001 season, winning the then National League 2 back in 2008 which earned them promotion to the Championship.
But they lasted just one season in the second tier, finishing 7th – before being demoted for salary cap breaches.
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