Rugby League


3 Dec 2021

Seaton Rangers and Bentley to join National Conference League

Seaton Rangers and Bentley to join National Conference League

The National Conference League will resume its full programme of fixtures in four divisions for 2022, with two new clubs, Seaton Rangers and Bentley of Doncaster included within Division 3.

Bentley and Seaton Rangers have both successfully passed an extensive application process and examination of their submissions by members of the NCL Management Committee.

The Management recommendation to accept these two clubs into the NCL for 2022 has been given an overwhelming level of support from existing member clubs, and the accepted invitation to these two clubs takes the NCL Membership back to 48 clubs, that will play in four divisions of 12 teams for next season.

The arrival of Seaton will extend the NCL footprint in to the Allerdale District of Cumbria with Bentley also forging a new pathway by pushing NCL influence into the Doncaster region.

Seaton Rangers have a first-class club house and playing facility with over 260 playing members from Open Age to Under 6s and have recently received a grant from the RLWC Legacy Fund to improve their gymnasium.

Bentley, with a similar number of players, are currently in the progress of building a new specialised facility for the 2023 season and will play at Wheatley Rugby Union Club for 2022. This approved arrangement, will provide excellent changing, playing and social facilities for Bentley and visiting teams until they are able to operate from their own new clubhouse in 2023.

Trevor Hunt, League Chair welcomed the new additions, stating: "We are delighted that both Bentley and Seaton Rangers have submitted such strong applications for NCL Management, and that they have accepted our invitation to play within our competition for 2022.

"They are two very strong clubs with ambitious, driven and hard-working committees and players, who have been knocking on the door of the NCL over the past few years despite the COVID issues.

"They both unlock areas that hitherto did not hold an NCL presence, and we look forward to seeing them thrive within the NCL Community. Bentley have some work to do on their facilities, but we have every faith that with the backing of the RLWC2021 Legacy funding, they will provide the necessary facilities to make them a real force within the game."

Miguel Blanco-Charters, Chairman Of Seaton Rangers, was ecstatic when he heard the news of the club's successful application.

He said: "Today is a very proud day for myself, the committee members, coaches and the club.

"This is a massive step towards everything this club has wanted to achieve for a long time.

"We are really looking forward to welcoming all the NCL teams to Seaton Rangers. A big thank you from me to all the committee members, volunteers, youth coaches and open age coaches past and present for everything you have all done to get us to this point today. We now look to our players to lead us into a new era for our wonderful club."

Ryan Campbell, First Team Head coach, followed up by saying: "Firstly a big thank you to the committee and volunteers, all their hard work as made this possible. It is a great opportunity for us to play in a great competition.

"Myself, the coaching staff and players are really looking forward to competing and challenging ourselves against different opposition."

Bentley Vice Chairman Nick Pownall was equally as delighted when the news broke.

He commented: "As a club we are really excited to be joining the NCL for this forthcoming season, it has been an ambition for our club for some time and has finally been realised.

"The players, fans, juniors and all associated with the club will benefit from and enjoy us being in this league. Along with the building of our new community facility and our appearance in the Challenge Cup for the 3rd time, this season promises to be a major one for all concerned with the club.

"We are looking forward to welcoming and testing ourselves against the best amateur teams in the country and continue to grow both off and on the field. It's been a long time since South Yorkshire has been represented in the NCL, Doncaster itself has never been, so we will be flying the flag for the local area."

The new league season for NCL kicks off on Saturday March 5, though Bentley may get a crack at some NCL opposition in the Betfred Challenge Cup. They will find out who they are up against when the draw is made on Tuesday 14th December and the fixtures for the new season are due to published three days later on Friday 17th December.