Scorpions ready for success with new owners

The Wales Rugby League (WRL) have confirmed that they will be handing over control of League 1 club South Wales Scorpions to new owners in the next few days.

The WRL have been running the club for the last two years, as they looked to establish a viable club rugby league professional presence in South Wales.

“After having the opportunity of working with the Scorpions over two seasons we now have a much greater empathy to the requirements and challenges facing a semi-professional club,” WRL chief operating officer Chris Thair said.

“We will now separate in terms of the Scorpions business and NGB but have gained a greater insight in to our game at this level which will bring us much closer to both of our professional clubs moving forward.

“We have identified and now understand the value of player preparation and club support and are looking at realigning some of our programmes to ensure we provide those requirements.

“WRL recognise the importance of both our professional clubs in Wales are successful and sustainable businesses going forward.”

Thair also believes that the progress made by the club over the last two years means that the foundations are now properly in place for the new owners to make the club successful.

“This season we have broken the club’s attendance record for a single game, increased average attendances, doubled the clubs commercial income, cleared all debts and operated to a self-sustaining business model,” he explained.

“There is still much to improve on, but this provides a good platform from which to build from.

“On the field, we have had a clear policy that this is a club for Welsh players, providing young players with an opportunity to progress in the sport.

“This resulted in 13 players from the WRL academy system debuting in the first team, Connor Farrer being nominated for the league’s Young Player of the Year award in 2014 and six players representing Wales last season in the European Championship.

“We also provided opportunities for two coaches in the professional ranks – head coach Mike Grady and assistant coach Paul Emanuelli – both of whom have been outstanding.

“In difficult circumstances they have managed to maintain a group of players who remain in good spirit and committed to the cause.

“I felt for Mike this season as after a solid first season resulting in a number of players playing internationally, he had the rug pulled from under his feet with more than a handful of senior players leaving or being made unavailable at no fault of his own.

Mike Grady remains a man of great integrity and I’m sure will go onto have a long and successful coaching career.

“With the base of the club’s squad aged 20 or under and new investment coming in, there is much to be excited about for the future.”

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