Vikings link with Town
The Vikings today announce an exciting working partnership with Championship side, Workington Town.
Following the recent news that both the Under 20s and Under 18s competitions will be shelved for a new Under 19s league from 2013, the club has acted accordingly to ensure it continues to deliver the best possible systems and processes.
The new link-up will see up to five dual registered or loan players from the Vikings set-up given the opportunity to prove themselves further and play for Workington and aid their development in a competitive environment.
Aside of the player exchange benefits, both clubs are also set to gain from increased brand exposure through the extended marketing opportunity this joining of forces has created. From both a performance and commercial point of view, this can only be beneficial to all concerned.
The partnership will begin with immediate effect though player movement will not commence until the 2013 season.
Founded in 1945, and playing their home games at Derwent Park since 1956, Workington Town have enjoyed a rollercoaster existence in professional rugby league.
From the highs of their early days which included a Challenge Cup success in 1951/52, to the occasional low over the years, the club has always retained its competitive edge and is confident the good times will eventually return to West Cumbria.
In 1996, Workington Town were a member club of the inaugural Super League competition. Following their promotion from Championship 1, they will be competing in the Championship in 2013.
Commenting on the link-up, Vikings CEO James Rule said; “We are very excited by the potential of this partnership. In addition to the obvious on field benefits for both clubs we also have an opportunity to grow our respective audiences and share best practice from our operations.
“We look forward to working with Workington to develop this partnership.”
Equally as enthusiastic, is Vikings’ Head Coach Denis Betts, who added; “It is great to be involved with a team that is growing.
“Workington Town are a famous old club with plenty of history and have recently secured promotion into the Championship. They are now building on this and working hard to ensure they become an even stronger force in 2013.
“Alongside the talent already within their ranks, I’ve no doubt that the inclusion of some of our players will be just what they are looking for.
“Historically, Workington are keen on producing local players and I’m really looking forward to strengthening our links within Cumbria and helping them progress this even further.”
Delighted to join forces with the Vikings, Workington Town Chairman David Bowden commented; "We are thrilled to strike up an exciting new partnership with the Widnes Vikings for our return to the Championship. The more formal restructuring of the relationships between Championship and Super League clubs meant it was critical we have a practical link up that will help both clubs.
"Our initial discussions couldn't really have gone any better with Denis Betts and James Rule outlining their thoughts which were a virtual match to the way we see things.
“The most obvious advantage is that the players from Widnes’ first team squad will be available to play for Town and develop their skills in the Championship. In return there is also a development route to ensure our local players can develop their rugby league careers, and at the highest level of the game in this country.
"But there will be many areas of best practice we can share and we are all looking forward at Workington to working hard to make the partnership the success I'm certain it will be."