Grassroots club focus: Warrington Wizards
Warrington Wizards are enjoying a spellbinding campaign in Conference League 3 and currently sit in second place in the Tier 3 competition behind Hemel Stags.
They were one of ten clubs who were founder members of National League Three in 2003 and were then known as Warrington Woolston Rovers; they ended the first season as the inaugural NL3 Champions when they defeated Teesside Steelers 42-6.
The following year saw them reach the final once again but this time they finished runners up following a 48-24 defeat to Coventry Bears at the home of Widnes Vikings.
2005 saw the birth of Warrington Wizards as the decision was made to allow the famous Woolston Rovers to rebuild at their home ground following the devastating fire that destroyed the clubhouse in October 2002.
The next five seasons saw the Wizards reach the play-offs on each occasion without actually managing to make it to the Grand Final.
That all changed in 2010 when a fantastic season saw them become Champions once again with a 23-18 victory over Huddersfield Underbank Rangers to take the Co-operative Rugby League Conference National title.
In comparison 2011 was a bit of an anti-climax as the Wizards failed to make the play off's for the first time.
The 2012 season has seen big changes for the club on and off the field. They have joined forces with the excellent JDG Media who now deal with the media aspect of the club, helping to increase the brand awareness.
They also now have a nutritional partner in JST Nutrition. As well as having Love Rugby League, the Rugby League information site of JDG Media as their main sponsor on their new kit, long standing sponsors of the club Lock-tec Master Locksmiths based in Northwich and Stoke Audi continue to be associate sponsors.
They have also been joined this year by Regal Polythene Ltd from Widnes who are one of the UK leading suppliers of Polythene products.
Wizards Team Manager Nikki Whalley says, "A lot of effort has been put into improving the awareness of the Wizards and that seems to be paying handsome dividends.
“Linking up with high calibre companies such as JDG Media and JST Nutrition is a great boost for us as a club and we are very grateful for the help they are giving us.
“We are also very lucky to have the continued support of Lock-tec Master Locksmiths and Stoke Audi who are leaders in their respective fields and we have added Regal Polythene Ltd to our list of sponsors as well which is great for us as a club.
“On top of these each of the players gets their own sponsorship for the season and we are very thankful to those companies and also to Rosedale Construction (Cheshire) Ltd who have advertised in our excellent matchday programme for the past eight years.
“On the field we now have an 'A' team which has quickly demonstrated their talents by being asked by the RFL to move from the Entry League to Division Three in less than six weeks, a sign that things are heading in the right direction under the guidance of Hayden Gahgan, Mike Edwards and Steve Gamble.
“The first team have strengthened considerably this season and currently lie in second place in the league table behind Hemel Stags.
“The Head Coach this year is Nick Owen and we are fortunate that he has two excellent assistants in Paul Alcock and Mike Grady as well as a fine mix of experienced and young players who are making this season so enjoyable."
Warrington Wizards currently have two open age teams - the first team plays in Conference Three and the 'A' team plays in the North West Mens League Division Three.
All old and new players will be made very welcome down at training.
Training is 7-8pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings on grass at Lysander Community High School, Insall Road, Padgate, Warrington, WA2 0LN.
The club is always on the lookout for more people to join their committee and if you feel as if that may interest you then please contact Club Administrator Dave Whalley on 07809 647014.