Future's Bright!This time last year Warrington Wolves faced extinction. After lurching from one crisis to another, this once proud club was faced with the prospect of Bankruptcy. In the space of a few months the long awaited new stadium had been called into a public Inquiry and the club had lost four senior managers.On the field the Wolves were ravaged by injuries with overseas players Andrew Gee and Steve Georgallis out for the season and Aussie legend Kevin Walters failing to settle and deciding to return home. These troubles were exasperated by the personal tragedies suffered by Lee Briers and Tawera Nikau.Out of adversity has emerged a Whole New Breed of Wolves. The catalyst for a turn-around in the Wolves fortunes, has been the appointment of Performance Director Steve Anderson. Anderson, formerly Assistant Coach to World Champions Australia and Assistant Coach to Melbourne Storm in their grand final winning season and renowned in Australia for Player Development, he has wasted no time in transforming the whole structure of the club.Initially, Anderson has assembled a full-time coaching team comprising of Football Manager, David Plange, Assistant Coaches Paul Darbyshire and Gary Chambers and Conditioner Jay Byrne. This compares to the two full-times coaches that operated throughout Super League VI. With the assistance of his coaching staff Anderson has signed 12 new players for the forthcoming season.The Wolves Super League Playing Roster has 26 full-time professionals. In addition to the new signings three players have been promoted from the junior ranks at the Wolves to earn a prestigious squad jersey. Only 10 players are left from the start of Super League Vi squad with Jon Clarke signing mid-season for the London Broncos.Having assessed the structure of the Warrington Service Area and the Club's Development pathways, Anderson has formed a Development Panel. The Panel consists of all his full time coaching staff plus Neil Kelly, Warrington Borough Council Development Officer, together with Brian Chambers, Special Projects Officer and Mike McLouglin, Town Teams Coach. All have extensive background in coaching, mentoring and development. The Panel's Charter is to deliver a programme of education designed to benefit coaches, parents and children. The Panel are at present analysing and accessing coaching structures, with the intention of providing material that is both current and relevant to each environment.Anderson's approach has resulted in a unified and disciplined squad that is showing great team spirit. In spite of the absence of any household names, the newly found professional approach in conjunction with a successful season ticket campaign has resulted in record early bird season ticket sales. Adam Jude, Director of Community and Marketing enthused, "Numbers sold outstrip those bought following the fanfare which greeted the signings of World stars Langer and Nikau was achieved without the 'free jersey' incentive".On top of this Commercial success, the Wolves have signed up with one of Scotland's largest private companies, Miller Developments, as Principal Shirt Sponsor. Additionally, the Associate Sponsors on the shirt are all Warrington based Companies. Such support from the business community has lead to a record income for the Wolves playing kit.Phenomenal levels of club retail activity have greeted the arrival of the Super League VII replica shirt. In the three weeks prior to Christmas retail turnover was over 50% of the total turnover during the previous twelve months.Throughout the Club's troubles the Award Winning Community Programme has been a beacon of hope. With the support of Manweb, Sportsmatch and Warrington Borough Council, Warrington has had contact with over 50,000 participants through their Community Programmes in the last year, a figure that has far exceeded the programmes of Manchester United. The Community Programme has undoubtedly helped to sustain the 35% increase in attendance over the last two years in the face of inconsistent and sometimes woefulperformances on the pitch.Finally, December 2001 the Wolves got the green light for the construction of the new stadium, through the Club's lifesaving partnerships with Warrington Borough Council, Tesco and Carlsberg Tetley the Wolves are now able to take the initial steps on the road to long term security.While the Wolves are by no means out of the woods compared to last year, the positive strides taken suggest the future for the Club will eventually be bright, as its loyal following deserves.
Wolves Squad for BarrowSteve Anderson has initially named a starting line-up for the Nutri-Grain Challenge Cup this weekend. The squad have spent the week in camp at Lilleshall preparing for the new season and the Challenge Cup.Lee BriersLeon Felton Steve MadenDale CardozaRob SmythTom O'ReillyMat RodwellMark HiltonJon ClarkeDale LaughtonDarren BurnsJerome GuissetSid Domic
New Look, New Kit!Warrington Wolves will take to the field in Tetley's Super League VII in a new Kit@ alternative jersey, unveiled by the Wolves today.The Wolves will debut in their new jersey for their Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Challenge Cup draw against Barrow Border Raiders at Craven Park, Barrow on Sunday 10th February 2002.Warrington Wolves' Director of Community and Marketing, Adam Jude, said the design of the new jersey was vastly different to anything the Wolves supporters would have seen in the past."This jersey design is definitely the best in the club's history, and everyone at the club is thrilled with the look," Mr Jude said."When we were designing the jersey we sat down with the team from Kit@ and asked them to develop a jersey that would become the most distinctive and popular in the Wolves history. We believe that this is what they have produced for us, and we expect it to be in huge demand among our fans."The opinion of the Wolves players was also canvassed and club captain and new Aussie captain Matt Rodwell, has given the jersey the thumbs up."I really like the look of the new jersey - in fact it's great," said Matt. "It is a totally different look for the club and I am sure it will receive an enormous reception from our supporters. The jersey, shoes and socks together as a uniform give us a complete new look and I'm looking forward to wearing it for our (my) first Challenge Cup game against Barrow at the weekend."With a primrose body, the English made jersey features blue across the shoulders with a white edging. Jude said "that we have used these colours on the jersey to reinforce the Wolves official colours." Blue shorts with a primrose trimming and primrose socks with the Kit@ logo in blue emblazoned on them is a completely new uniform and look which will be used for both home and away fixtures in the forthcoming season.Jonathan Hamburger of Kit@ commented on the new design of kit including using polyester fabric, "The fabric is 100% Polyester which contains body moisture management properties. This ensures effective body moisture transfer away from your skin to keep you dry and comfortable. The fabric is lightweight yet strong giving the player ease of movement and flexibility."The kit is complete with all the corporate partner's branding.
A Trip to BarrowFrom the M6 North:Junction 36 (A590)Follow signs to Kendal A590 Junction with A59 Branch left and at the roundabout take 1st exit (signposted Barrow in Furness) Junction with A5074 Little Chef Restaraunt (334) In 0.8 mile at roundabout take the 2nd exit High Newton Newby Bridge Junction with A5092 Ulverston At Roundabout take 2nd exit Lindal Dalton in Furness Stay on A590 Straight into Barrow 1st left after Asda Onto Duke Street 400 yards on right Barrow Rugby League ClubFor those travelling by British Rail:Central Barrow, Astra Cinema on corner of Abbey Road directly opposite station exit. Follow straight down Abbey Road until reaching the roundabout, turn right into Duke Street, Craven Park first left. Admission Prices are as follows:˙8.00 Adult Ground ˙9.00 Adult Stand˙5.00 Senior Citizen Ground/Stand˙3.00 Child Ground ˙4.00 Child StandThe Raiders Bar situated inside Craven Park will be open from 1.00pm. Happy Hour 1-2pm - All Draught Beers ˙1.50Snack Bar Open from 1.00pm serving chips, pies, sausage rolls, burgers, hot dogs, sweets/chocolates - hot and cold drinks (all really healthy rugby food!)
Wolves' On CampThe Wolves First Team squad and Coaching Staff have gone on a week's camp to Lilleshall, Shropshire from Monday 4th to Friday 8th February. Ahead of their Challenge Cup draw against Barrow Border Raiders at Craven Park this Sunday (10th Feb).The week will involve skills/conditioning and preparation for the game on Sunday. It will also give the team an opportunity to bond ahead of the season away from the training facilities at Warrington. This season sees 13 new recruits to at the club and two alliance and an academy player receiving promotion to the first team. Squad numbers will be allocated at the end of February ahead of the Warrington opening home clash against Halifax on Sunday 3rd March.<
Prepare to repel Raiders!The Wolves have drawn an away tie to meet Barrow Border Raiders in the 4th Round of the Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Challenge Cup. The game will be played at Craven Park, home to the Barrow club for over 80 years, on Sunday 10th February.The Wolves are no stranger to Barrow having met them at Wilderspool (then known as Barrow Braves) at the start of Super League II with the Warrington men running riot with a 13 try romp, including four from Winger Richard Henare and a brace each for Willie Swann and Nigel Vagana.Barrow, currently lying in seventh place in the NFP having won 3 out of their seven matches, beat amateur side Oulton 28 to 5 to make it to the 4th round.
Unanimous!Warrington Wolves Supporter's made the momentous decision and voted unanimously last night in favour of changing their constitution and started the process of becoming the first Supporters Trust in Super League.A packed Touchdown club witnessed an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Supporters Club, opened by the Mayor of Warrington who addressed the fans on behalf of the town and Council. The Suporters Club listened and watched intently to presentations by Club Treasurer Richard Shanks and Supporters Direct case worker David Boyle as they explained the decision to be made. The Trust will be based on the Industrial and Provident Societies act and the draft constitution when accepted will be used as a framework for other Rugby League clubs wanting to gain similar status.The intention now is to submit the new constitution to Manchester based solicitors for their view and final advice before registering the document as a template for future use.Trust status will allow the Supporters Trust to own shares in the club and potentially hold a seat on the board of Directors of the Rugby Club. Part of the trust will be the new Squadbuilder scheme aimed to promote and help young local Rugby players excel and eventually gain a chance at First Team status.
Wolves in SupportWarrington Wolves are supporting the Warrington branch of Macmillan Nurses in a fundraising initiative. The Wolves have close links with the charity having assisted in events last year, such as the WorldĂs Biggest Coffee Morning, in which the staff and players held their own coffee morning in support of the charity.This season the Wolves have pledged to continue their work within the community supporting local charities in their initiatives to raise money in support of their causes through various techniques such as player appearances, autographed merchandise and bucket collections at home games. Macmillan Nurses will be holding a bucket collection on Monday 1st April prior to the first home Super League local derby against Widnes Vikings.Community and Marketing Director Adam Jude commented, "As part of our community scheme we are actively involved in the Warrington area supporting local initiatives. The Warrington branch of Macmillan Nurses are just one of the local charities that we have helped."
Team News for Salford MatchFootball Manager/First Team Coach David Plange has announced his possible starting 13 for the Wolves friendly game against Salford City Reds on Friday 25th January at Wilderspool, kick off 7.30PM.Lee Briers Kevin CrouthersSteve Maden David Kidwell Leon Felton Sid Domic Matt Rodwell Mark Hilton Mark Gleeson Dale Laughton Dean Busby Jerome Guisset Darren BurnsSubs: To be announced.Performance Director, Steve Anderson is still undecided on squad numbers for the forthcoming season and is looking to this game in his decision-making. The Wolves players are fired up and are going out with the knowledge that this trial game will be a decider in position and number for Tetley's Super League VII.This game sees the return of David Kidwell, who has been on a family holiday to his home country of New Zealand. 'The Kid' was placed on a strict training schedule whilst on vacation so as to be able to slot back in on his return. He's looking strong and dangerous and determined to make an impact this season with the hope of a call up from the New Zealand team.Steve Maden, 18 who was signed on a full time contract for a year in the close season from the Wolves Academy is to start as centre partnering another close season signing, Kev Crouthers from Dewsbury Rams. Who came on a successful month trial at the end of the Tetley's Super League VI scoring four tries in as many games.Maden commented, "I am looking forward to the game against the Reds, it will give me an opportunity to put my pre-season training into action and put myself in contention for a number and position for this season. There is a lot of competitiveness in the squad and it is adding to the camaraderie among the team."
The Futures Bright, It's Primrose and Blue!An evening dubbed as "The Future of Warrington Wolves" will take place next Wednesday 23rd January 7.30pm in the Wolves Touchdown Club at Wilderspool Stadium.The evening, jointly organised between the Wolves Supporters Club and Wolves management, will be a significant event likely to shape the future of the club.The Supporters Club will take a historic decision of whether to change their constitution and become the first Rugby League Supporters Trust at their Extraordinary General Meeting. The Trust status would enable the Supporters Club to move forward and look at playing a much larger part in the Club with the potential for the Trust to own shares and ultimately gain a "Supporters Director" seat on the board. In a ground-breaking move the Supporters Club has successfully engaged the help of local and Euro MP's, as well a Club Chairman Lord Hoyle, to persuade the Government to change its funding policy to support Rugby League clubs in achieving Trust status.The evening continues with the Supporters Clubs new Squadbuilder scheme to help young up and coming local players progress to their full potential.After the resounding successes of NFP clubs Leigh and Gateshead with similar schemes the Wolves Supporters will be the first club in Super League to take on the scheme. The overall scope of the scheme has been widened to include not just first team rugby but local amateur and Service Area teams.For a monthly donation of just ˙5 fans hope to invest in the local league stars of the future as well as serve the community through promoting the game in the local community.The culmination of the evening will be the latest update on stadium developments with the clubs management and architect available to answer questions from fans. With meetings on-going between developers, planners and officials this is an ideal opportunity to speak to those who will have a hand in shaping the future home of the Wolves.This is a rally call to all Wolves fans to come along and have their say in the future of their club.