Slaithwaite Saracens have followed the lead of Underbank Rangers by fielding open-age sides 12 months of the year.
The men from The Spa will have a side competing in this season’s Pennine League Division V competition, which gets under way at the start of September, before embarking on a first campaign in the Premier Division of next summer’s Yorkshire Men’s League.
It’s a sign of intent from the Saracens that they intend to field a summer side at Premier League level, with fellow Huddersfield clubs Moldgreen and the YMCA in action in this season’s Group II division, two levels below.
The decision to play all year round has proved successful for Underbank, who compete in Division III of the National Conference League in the summer and in the upper half of the Pennine League.
And with the Saracens having moved to a new base at the Wharfeside Inn and seeking funding for changing facilities at Spa Fields, club secretary Jonny Fell is confident the future for Slaithwaite can be bright.
“After a great period when we were experiencing success after success, the last couple of seasons have been really tough,” said Fell, whose side were Holliday Cup winners and competing at the top end of the Pennine League Premier Division less than three years ago.
“As soon as things started to go against us, we began to lose a number of players who weren’t prepared to roll up their sleeves and battle to try and bring back the good times. That was disappointing.
“As a result, it started to get even tougher fielding competitive sides on a regular basis.
“It was obvious we needed to do something as quickly as possible to try and address the problem, and hopefully what we’ve done now will provide the solution.
“Training is already under way for our Pennine League winter team at the Spa every Thursday night from 6.30 – and we’d welcome any players, old or new, who’d like to join us – and we’re already planning for our first summer season.
“We know we’re undertaking quite a big squad re-building programme, but we’re confident things will start to fall into place and that our future will be bright.”