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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Workington Town forge link with Widnes Vikings

Workington Town have linked up with Super League outfit Widnes Vikings as they prepare for the 2013 Championship season after gaining promotion from Championship One last season.

Denis Betts photo
Denis Betts

Following the recent news that both the Under-20 and Under-18 competitions will be shelved for a new Under-19 league from 2013 in Super League, the new arrangement will see up to five dual registered or loan players from the Vikings set-up given the opportunity to prove themselves further and aid their development in a competitive environment.

Aside of the player exchange benefits, Town are also set to gain from increased brand exposure through the extended marketing opportunity the 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.

Delighted to join forces with the Vikings, Workington Town chairman Dave Bowden said: “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 Vikings’ Denis Betts [head coach] and James Rule [Vikings’ COE] 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.”

Commenting on the link-up, Rule said: “We are very excited by the potential of this partnership.

“In addition to the obvious on-field benefits we also have an opportunity to grow our respective audiences and share best practice from our operations. We look forward to working with Workington Town to develop the partnership.”

Equally as enthusiastic, head coach Denis Betts added; “It is great to be involved with a team that is growing.

“Workington are a famous old club with plenty of history and have recently secured promotion to the Championship. Alongside the talent already in the club‘s ranks, I’ve no doubt that the inclusion of some of our players will be just what they are looking for.

“Town are also keen on producing local players and I’m really looking forward to strengthening our links within Cumbria and helping Workington progress this even further.”

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