Media manager Ryan Gould, who has been heavily involved with North Wales Crusaders since they were formed, explains why he feels there’s never been a better time to get behind the club.
2020’s been a challenging year and many of us have probably always taken watching live sport for granted. It’s now been around eight months since we’ve seen Crusaders in action and, like me, I’m sure you’ve missed it.
I can’t believe next season will be our tenth as a club. I started helping Crusaders with media duties when I was 16 and we’re now in 2020. As we approach a landmark in the club’s history, I genuinely feel like something special is on the horizon.
It’s no secret that the club experienced some financial difficulties back in 2016 and it hasn’t always been an easy journey since then, but many people have worked tirelessly behind-the-scenes to bring us to where we are now and there’s so much to be positive about.
The work our supporters and volunteers do is outstanding and they play such a key part in running the club. Having representatives from the Supporters Trust on the board is a really positive step forward and I’m sure you’ll agree the club is very much run by the fans for the fans. Everyone on the board and connected with the club are supporters and only want what’s best for Crusaders.
While we’re living within our means to make sure the club is run effectively, it doesn’t mean we’re unable to put out a competitive squad year-on-year and I believe the one we’ve built for 2021 is as strong as it has been for a number of years.
We also have an excellent head coach in Anthony Murray, who I’ve always felt is underrated at this level and doesn’t get the plaudits he often deserves. We’re fortunate to have the likes of Alan Hadcroft and Si Reynolds supporting him.
A lot of clubs fear us as they know we’ll turn up anywhere and make life difficult for the opposition. When we look back at 2019, we were all devastated to miss out on the play-offs because we deserved a place in that top six, but we’ve learned from that and will no doubt be better for it in the future.
I feel like we’re back in 2012, with a young, up-and-coming squad that has the potential to grow over the coming years. This could be the start of a new era in the club’s history that will help produce the next Tommy Johnson, Jono Smith or Rob Massam.
If you go to every Crusaders match without fail, attend occasionally or haven’t taken in a game yet, it doesn’t matter. It’d be great to see you all at Queensway Stadium in 2021 when it’s safe to do so. If you’re reading this, the likelihood is you’ll enjoy the sport of rugby league and perhaps we need to remember how fortunate we are to have a professional club on our doorstep in North Wales.
Bring on 2021. It’s #OurTime.