Littler and Swinton fighting for their future

Swinton Lions are working on a sustainable plan for the future after fundraising kept the club in business.

An admirable effort from supporters was backed up by an emergency loan from the local council to ensure that the Lions could see out the 2017 season.

They face a battle on the pitch to reserve their Championship status according to the rugby betting online, and then efforts will turn to ensuring a plan is in place for the future.

Recently appointed head coach, Stuart Littler, said: “Off the field our board has been working really hard and I must say thanks to all the supporters and the community for getting on side and trying to save this club.

“The club’s got a lot of history and a good standing within rugby league and we don’t want to die that’s for sure.

“The loan from the council is much appreciated and helps us move forward with that planning. It is a loan so it will be paid back over a period of time, but as a club we are probably in a stronger position than we were a few weeks ago, but we’re not out of the woods by a long shot.

“There’s a lot of great history at this club. There’s been a lot of great players. The club’s won championships after championships. You’ve got to respect what’s happened before.

“As a club, we’ve got to move forward and we’ve got to come up with a plan for the future, and it’s got be a sustainable plan and one we can stick to.”

Littler, by his own admission, was thrown in at the deep end a bit earlier than anticipated following the departure of John Duffy to Featherstone.

He has spent two seasons as player/coach before stepping up as assistant this year, combining that with his teaching job.

He added: “It’s come around a bit quicker than I thought. There’s things off the pitch like salary caps and bringing players in and deadlines that you’ve got to learn on your feet and you get thrown in with.

“We needed some players because we only had 14. I’d like to thank everyone that helped us get the extra players in, because without them we wouldn’t be in this position where we are today with a team fighting for our lives towards the end of the year.

“We’ve got to concentrate on these next five weeks and make sure that we fight for our lives and stay in this division.

“Plans are hard because your budget changes depending on where you finish. We could get relegated. There’s so many variables at the moment, so we’ve got to be planning for anything to happen.

“My focus is staying in this league and it’s still in our hands. We can’t be reliant on other results, we’ve got to look after ourselves.

“We’ve got a massive game against Bradford and there’s no doubt they’ll have a bee in their bonnet from the defeat the other week in my first game, so we’ve got to be prepared.”

Swinton are still clinging on to safety in the Championship despite a recent run of defeats, a point ahead of Oldham.

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