30th January 2019, 12:15 | yorkshire-mens-league

Yorkshire Men’s League celebrates its biggest season yet

Yorkshire Men’s League celebrates its biggest season yet

Ahead of the 2019 season, the Yorkshire Men's League has received the highest-ever number of club applications to compete in the league.

77 entries have currently been submitted and accepted, with nine new clubs set to feature within the league.

Yorkshire Men's League Chairman Stuart Sheard said: "The Yorkshire Men's League has grown year on year in terms of clubs and teams participating.

"The league is well-run and offers clubs competitive, yet flexible opportunities to play on a regular basis.

"Clubs manage their own fixture lists in order to maximise fixture completion, and our alternative offers provide different solutions to the issues that clubs face playing through the summer.

"I believe these to be some of the main reasons why the Yorkshire Men's League is so appealing to clubs, and to receive 75 entries this year, shows just how strong the league currently is.

"I am excited to see the new clubs in action and I know this year will be just as competitive and entertaining as ever."

Goole Vikings and Dodworth Miners are two of the new clubs set to feature within the 2019 Yorkshire Men's League.

Based almost directly between Hull and Wakefield, Goole Vikings are a totally new club, set to bring Rugby League back to Goole for the first time in 80 years.

Vikings Club Secretary Darren Smith is looking forward to the 2019 season.

He said: "The Vikings are incredibly proud to be joining the Yorkshire Men's League in 2019, in our first playing season as a Club.

"The league have allowed us to find our own level within the league, to ensure that we get to have regular and competitive matches - something important to us in our rookie season.

"Our squad currently incorporates a lot of young people, and it will be great for them to experience some of the traditional clubs within Yorkshire, and around Hull.

"It will be a learning experience for all involved in the club - but one we are looking forward to with much excitement.

"Training is always a means to an end, but until you start playing you don't get a true feeling of where you are.

"Looking into the future, being part of the YML will offer us a clear pathway through the Rugby League pyramid, in which we will be able to watch and plan for a structured progression over the next few years," he added.

"We also hope to use the league to develop ourselves more within the local Goole community, and hopefully start up a Junior & Youth section, as well as offer a Women's team.

"It has been an amazing ride so far, and the whole club is looking forward to making a name for our team and putting Goole back on the map within the Rugby League world.

"Bring on the start of the season."

Barnsley-based Dodworth Miners, formerly Dodworth, are a newly reformed side, having last played six years ago in the winter Pennine League.

"Everyone here at Dodworth Miners is really looking forward to participating within the league this summer," said Miners Chairman Matthew Lock.

"It will be our first season playing as Dodworth Miners, and we are anticipating it to be a great one.

"In our first season back as a Club, we have recruited a wide range of players, from those with many years of experience to those whom had never previously picked up a rugby ball.

"This was one of the reasons the YML appealed to us - it offers us the regularity of playing high quality teams, but also some flexibility within our playing season.

"I am expecting us to play some competitive rugby, with no easy games throughout the season and of course to have a lot of fun while doing so."

Fellow new additions to the 2019 league are; Wakefield Hawks, Lambwath Lions, Guiseley Rangers, Brotherton Bulldogs, Hemsworth Dragons and Clayton.

Beeston Broncos are also returning to the league for the first time since 2014 after a spell in the Pennine League.

The Yorkshire Men's League will also be one of two leagues to launch the Rugby Football League's new 'RLT20' competitions, a flexible playing offer for u20s teams, designed to bridge the gap between playing at under 18s level and Open Age.

The competition is aimed at retaining more of Rugby League players aged 18-20 and will allow clubs to play competitive fixtures on either a Friday evening or Saturday afternoons (following Open Age fixtures).

The 2019 Yorkshire Men's League season gets underway with the Forty-20 Cup week-ending March 3, with the first league fixtures beginning on Saturday, April 6.