Widnes link up with North Wales

Widnes Vikings have announced a two-year partnership agreement with North Wales Crusaders.

 The deal sees both clubs commit to working together until at least the end of the 2019 campaign. The agreement will provide opportunities for the Vikings squad to get game time under their belts at Crusaders.

Young Widnes players will be able to play for the Betfred League 1 side or senior players will be able to retain match-fitness as well as improving the current Crusaders team.

Widnes will also provide off-field support to the Crusaders, offering advice and support to them as they bid to gain promotion to the Betfred Championship.

Denis Betts, head coach of the Vikings, said: “Competition for places has never been more intense in our senior squad, so developing a partnership of this nature is vitally important.

“This arrangement will enable us to secure loan placements for our players, working closely with the coaches at Crusaders to ensure that we are providing them with individuals who will enhance their playing group.

“Naturally, this partnership also benefits our club, ensuring that players who don’t make the match day squad have opportunities to stay fit and ready for first team action.

“We are looking forward to working with Crusaders over the next two seasons.”

Andy Moulsdale, CEO of North Wales Crusaders, says: “North Wales Crusaders are pleased to have agreed a partnership with Widnes Vikings for the next two years.

“Having spoken to James Rule (Vikings CEO) and Denis Betts, it was clear that this will help both clubs on and off the field.

“Taking on young full-time players on season long loans will benefit both clubs. Denis has pledged to work closely with our coaching department which can only be a positive. In addition, James and I have had several chats about off-field opportunities.

“I’m keen to stress to all Crusaders supporters that this is a partnership that is geared to progressing the club as opposed to the dual-registration system that we have had in the past. We look forward to working with James and the Widnes Vikings.”

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