North Wales Crusaders coach Clive Griffiths was delighted at the results of this Sunday’s open trials at Queensway in Wrexham where over 50 potential players turned up to see if they could earn a place the new club’s first ever side that kicks off in the 2012 Cooperative Championship 1 competition.
Griffiths, and his assistant coach John Fieldhouse will now assess these players and a number will be invited back to train at two sessions before Christmas and one in the week before New Year.
“There was a wide range of abilities with over 50 people putting their hand up,” said Griffiths. “We’ll definitely gain from the exercise and there a number of lads who will be putting themselves in contention for a squad place. I’m quite enthused about it and the numbers were excellent. As the week went on we had to turn people away due to the amount of applicants so it may be that we will have another trial in the New Year.
“There were players out there who have been on the books of some Super League clubs in the North West, who played at Academy level but weren’t kept on, and that experience showed in many areas. We had players turning up from Coventry Bears, Milton Keynes, York, one from New Zealand who had only been in the UK for a day, so it was a wide spectrum.
“I was also pleased to see a number of Welsh players from rugby union and rugby league clubs in North Wales put their hands up for a place. There were lads from Mold, Ruthin and other areas who gave a good showing and didn’t let themselves down – you can’t fault their enthusiasm and it just shows what the interest is to play for North Wales Crusaders. At this rate, we could get a second team out.
“There’s no rush to make a decision. We’ll have three training sessions before the end of the year where a number will be invited along. We’ll put them in situations, scrutinise the videos and then see what we have. I was very enthused by the whole process.”
North Wales Crusaders’ chief executive Jamie Thomas said: “It was fantastic to see such a great turn out and enthusiasm for the new club. The overall standard of the players was high and I know it’s given Clive and John some valuable additional options in terms of the final make up of the squad. If they show as much commitment throughout the season as they did in the trial we’re going to have a really good 2012.”