Churwell Chiefs RL club on verge of folding

Bernard Stancer - secretary of Curwell Chiefs junior rugby league club. The club is under threat of folding. (D519B306)
Bernard Stancer - secretary of Curwell Chiefs junior rugby league club. The club is under threat of folding. (D519B306)

Junior rugby league club Churwell Chiefs are in danger of folding at the end of the season after player numbers plummeted in recent years.

The club, which has had players graduate to Leeds Rhinos, has seen numbers drop dramatically and is now left with just one side this year.

Club secretary Bernard Stancer says unless more youngsters and volunteers can be found, the Chiefs will be forced to fold.

He said: “It’s been coming. We have tried to stave it off, tried to get kids up at schools, but its just gotten less and less.

“The biggest problem is if we could raise a junior side we would still need the infrastructure, getting people to coach and put the time into training.

“That’s where we need people who are very dedicated and in this day and age we are getting fewer volunteers.

“I’ve been with the club from day one. I took it on for three months and I’ve done 29 years.

“It will leave a big hole.”

The current under 18s side is the only remaining team, but currently have no plans to continue into next year, leaving the Chiefs without a team.

Bernard said: “As far as I know they are not continuing after this season.

“The infrastructure is getting less, it comes down to one or two people, one of whom is me.

“Come April or May, if the under 18s don’t continue we will close the doors.”

Leeds Rhinos star Stevie Ward (pictured left) played for the Chiefs as a youngster before joining the Super League champions.

He said: “I was really disapointed to hear about it, there are lots of good players that have come through the club. It’s a big loss to the area and to rugby league.

“I would be more than happy to help them out, and if there was a way to do it I would do, but if there’s no-one to keep it going there’s not a lot I can do.”