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Rugby league club born in Woodhouse

Posted onPosted on 4th Apr
Rugby league club born in Woodhouse

Feature by University of Chester student Kate Skillen, from Mansfield Woodhouse.

A new era is dawning in the world of rugby league but not within its conventional setting. Rugby league is rising and expanding further beyond its traditional northern heartland.

The Midlands Rugby League will be going into its eighth year with tougher competition and increased rivalry.

North Nottinghamshire has risen to the competition in the form of Sherwood Wolf Hunt, based in Mansfield Woodhouse in the middle of Robin Hood’s stomping grounds, which plays its first friendly this Sunday.

The revival of Rugby League in the area has had an immense response from day one.

Team numbers are growing and training is proving successful. After only a short period of training, the team is beginning to develop a strong and promising stance for the upcoming season.

The club has recruited players through the power of social media and continues growing its online presence.

Adam Bates, player and operational manager, said: “Our use of social media has helped build the squad quickly and bring together a wide range of new and experienced players. It has been a revelation that so many people in the area love rugby league.”

Since the success of the recent world cup and the publicity from high-profile names in the game, such as Sam Burgess and Sam Tomkins, a heightened interest has materialised in the area.

Founder and chairman of the club Richard Tempest-Mitchell said: “I am originally from Bradford and played there and at Bradford Northern as a youth. Growing up in the rugby league heartlands it was easy to take things for granted.

“I was not sure what to expect around here. I have been happy and a bit surprised with the speed at which we developed, going from an idea to a squad of around 30 players in just six weeks.”

“We want to start relatively small, build a squad and first team and hopefully put out a development squad at some point. We have staff in at least two local secondary schools and the local youth club, and together we are putting in a bid to Sport England for satellite club funding. That will hopefully bring in much-needed funding and grow our potential.”

For the club it’s all in the name. The significance and history behind the name Sherwood Wolf Hunt captures the identity of Mansfield Woodhouse and the community within the village.

Mansfield Woodhouse was the home to warriors since Roman times. Within the village is Wolf Hunt House, whose occupant reportedly had to warn of wolves in the forest. It is said to date to Robin Hood times.

The club’s main principle is to build upon the rich history in the area by working with the community to build a successful club and provide opportunities outside of the sport’s traditional heartland.

The team will compete in the Midlands League Merit Division at the BIGVillage Green sports ground on Slant Lane and facse tough competition, including from last year’s champions, Telford Raiders.

The team has raised their game even further by linking up with the Ireland Wolf Hounds, who represent Ireland and recently competed in the world cup. Former coach for the national team Ged Corcoran will assist Wolf Hunt with coaching.

The club is rightfully proud and enthusiastic to have developed such a beneficial link.

Richard Tempest-Mitchell said: “’We are excited with the prospect of having an experienced international ruby coach assisting us. Together we hope we can grow the club to involve the local youth club and schools and build a steady stream of young players.”

The club is clearly one to look out for and take note of. It is always looking for new members and sponsors.

So join the hunt and find the club on Facebook, Twitter or contact [email protected].