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Bonfire night in Cardiff only meant one thing this year – if you’re a rugby league fan. Holding their first ever training session under the bright lights of Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff City Rugby League invited league-lovers from around the city to trial for their new team. I spoke to co-founder Chris True about the ambitions of the side behind the revitalisation of league in the ‘diff.
What is your exact role within Cardiff City Rugby League?
“I’ve been the facilitator of the merger between the Cardiff Spartans and the Cardiff Demons, who have joined to make Cardiff City Rugby League. We are striving to work together and represent the city of Cardiff which can only be a positive thing.”
What are your short-term goals?
“The initial plan is for the first team to play in the Welsh Conference this upcoming season. There are between eight and twelve teams in the league and the Bridgend Blue Bulls are the team to beat – the Demons and Spartans lost heavily to them last year. The second team will either play in the same league, depending on the standard we can deliver, or they will play in the Merit League. We are aiming to get at least five friendlies organised for the B team also.
“In terms of ambitions, our two-year plan is for the A team to apply for the National Conference in 2016. The Valley Cougars won that league last year and are doing fantastic things up in Treharris. We just want to follow in the footsteps of them. As for the B team we would like them to compete in the Welsh Conference while running two competitive sides. In that second year we are also hoping to set-up a women’s team.”
How about the juniors?
“The aim is to run four junior teams this year growing to between five or six in year two. There is a real desire to create an academy side similar to the South Wales Scorpions Academy. There have been some really good young Welsh players come through the ranks recently and sometimes because we don’t have teams for them to go to they’re lost to the game. We want to prevent this from happening by giving them a platform to play league.”
How will you finance the team?
“The key element of Cardiff City Rugby League is that we want to be self-sustainable. We want to get to a point where we can rely on our membership fees and our gate to fund the club. It’s going to be a tough task but there is four of us leading this merger and we hope to plant sustainable roots.”
Where will you play?
“We are teaming up with Llanishen Rugby Club to secure a home venue – in addition to training sessions at Arms Park. They have a waiting list for juniors wanting to play rugby union and we would really like to give those kids an entry into rugby, offering up league as a different avenue.”
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