Those who take up a season-ticket at Lockwood Park this season will have some “seriously enjoyable rugby to watch.”
That’s the verdict of former Colts and Academy team manager Richard Sykes, one of the driving forces behind both the season-ticket scheme and the Past Players Association.
The season-tickets cost £90 for 15 home National II North fixtures and includes a free match programme and special vouchers for club promotions.
They will be on sale at Saturday’s first pre-season friendly against Sheffield Tigers and the following Saturday’s clash with Cleckheaton before the league season starts at Chester on September 6. Huddersfield’s first home match is against Harrogate on September 13.
Sykes – who has Riasca Paper and Print doing the programme – explained: “I believe in this project because I feel that a town the size of Huddersfield deserves high-level national league rugby union.
“We have a Super League rugby league side, a Championship football team, so why not a National I rugby union club in years to come?
“It is good that the team gained the championship win last season which took them back to Natonal II, where they competed well for six years.
“The short-term priority is to maintain a place there, and to do this the club needs to foster its own youth development as well as making the club a place where good players from elsewhere will want to come and ply their trade.
“It would be nice if we could establish ourselves as a senior force in West Yorks behind Leeds, as Otley, Halifax and Morley have done in the past – and maintain the position over time.
“The season-tickets are great value for money and people will have some seriously enjoyable rugby to watch.
“We want more people to come and watch rugby union, enjoy the club and supporting the team and also, obviously, to bring in much-needed funds.”
Former captain Vern Cotter, the New Zealander who is currently the Scotland coach, and England centre Luther Burrell would be prime candidates for the Past Players Association, but everyone who has ever pulled on the shirt is welcome. Honorary President Mike Lumley said: “It’s great to see the club taking new initiatives and I hope that many former players will join and take the opportunity to get down to Lockwood Park, support the team and meet up with old friends at their club.”
Sykes added: “Lots of players come back on an occasional basis but hopefully they will become a bit more involved through the Association.
“It’s for those who don’t really want to commit to a full membership for whatever reason, and for just £2 a month they will get regular e-mail updates on rugby developmetns at the club, plus two complementary match tickets for past players and a guest.
“The moto will be ‘Proud to have worn the shirt, proud to support players of the future’ and we hope it will prove a popular move.”
Huddersfield are keen to provide a platform for the future through their age-group sides, with the Academy being recent Yorkshire Cup winners and runners-up.
“The club is not just about the first team. The aim is to continue to offer good rugby to players of all ages and ability in an integrated set up,” said Sykes.
“We are very proud of our mini-junior section and Academy. We were the club that invented and gave the world mini rugby back in the late 1960s and we have always had a thriving junior section, offering rugby to teams across the entire age range from seven to 17.
“We have a very active and enthusiastic junior section committee who implement all the rugby union iniatitives and directives on running things properly.
“The club section offers warm hospitality off the field and the youngsters provide good opposition on it.
“The club rugby committee has worked hard to integrate and involve the academy in the senior set-up, and there are now strong links and good opportunities for Academy players to make the transition to open age.
“we have also good links with the University of Huddersfield side who play their matches at Lockwood Park and many players have joined us from there and played at senior level – like Chris Johnson and the Paxman twins.”