What I think people often forget is that at the tail end of 2013 we had hardly any players, our Chairman retired, the club owed a large amount of money to creditors and our club was on the verge of extinction!
It was a distinct possibility that Swinton Lions might have played their last match.
A band of dedicated (or you could read mad!!) volunteers (and for that read unpaid and very little time to spare outside their usual work and family commitments) pulled together and put together an emergency plan to keep the Lions going.
In the main it is still those dedicated few that are holding things together. Additional assistance has been brought in when it has ben offered (such as John Roddy joining the Board recently).
It was unfortunate that Salford swooped in for Watto but it happened. Don't forget that when something like that happens to a club like ours it's not very easy for everyone to drop their day jobs and go out looking for a replacement....it's not like the club have any full-time staff sat around that can suddenly spend a large amount of time investigating who's out there, who can be brought in etc etc.
Communication is very important but I'd rather have the Board spending their time sorting out a replacement for Watto and looking to replace those players who have been recalled by Leigh. If they can then sit back (sort out their day-job stuff that's piled up whilst doing Swinton business) and take stock and give us a press release a few days after the event then I think we need to understand why there might be a delay in getting that news out to us fans and why, for example, Salford, with their paid full-time staff can get news out quicker than us.
So, yes there is room for improvement but we have come a million miles on the comms front since this time last year. I think we should just understand and appreciate the resources our club has available, there are probably a lot of the top amateur clubs which have more man-hours available to them than we do.
If any supporters can provide any assistance then it is more than welcome.
If you don't know what you can do to help then ask, volunteer....or bring someone new to each of the remaining matches (we need to boost attendances and bring money in), join the Trust (£2 per month), buy a Trust T-shirt, a programme, Golden Gamble tickets etc. Yes it is all money, but the club can't exist on fresh air and those money-tree seeds I bought haven't sprouted yet!
Apologies for the mini-rant but let's all just appreciate what we've got and stick your hand up (or in your pocket) if you want to help us get back to being the big, successful club we once were.
Anyway....Supporters' Trust Meeting 8:00pm tonight at the White Lion as usual. Get along and join if you haven't done already (bring your bank details or cash/cheque with you) and you can come in!
As the Trust, we are slowly rekindling the links with Folly, we also sponsor the U7's Crusaders kit.
Hopefully, now the better weather is here, like last year, we will be able to arrange a few curtain-raisers or half time matches with Folly's junior teams. This can be a great experience for the youngsters playing in front of family and friends in front of a crowd in a big stadium.
It would be great also if we can get a few of the Swinton players or coaching staff down to help out at some of the evening Folly training sessions and the Folly Rugby Festival on Saturday 16th August....as it stands at the moment (despite my trying) most of the kids at Folly are only aware of one local professional team as they've played there once or twice and that's who they see on TV.
It was good to see though that at last night's training sessions there were Swinton shirts being worn by two of the juniors!!!
You'll note that, to avoid any risk of a visit from the Trade Descriptions Act police (York branch), I've amended the title of this post and removed the very misleading word "poster".
I'm left somehow thinking though that the other title was a bit more snappy.
Perhaps I should also have included in the title that this plain statement is usefully uncluttered so that if it's in your car window or being read from a moving bus then there's a chance that the reader may be able to distinguish the important, yet admittedly basic, facts.
Oh, and also that you don't have to replace every colour ink cartridge in your printer between each copy printed out.
I think the forum moderators may have restricted the number of words I could include in the post title though - but apologies to the number who were hugely disappointed and felt they had been misled when they opened the attachment.
Is there anything in particular preventing any of these fans from yesteryear from coming along to watch a few matches at LSV - please?
Every supporter, every penny counts.
We still have the same rampant lion on the badge.
We're still the club that was formed nearly 150 years ago.
We're still called Swinton Lions (unlike many other teams that have changed their name).
We still have the history of Valentine, Hodgson, Stopford, Blan, Gowers, Buckley, Wilson, Holliday, English, Watson (the one with the most caps for Wales).
We still won all 4 cups .
We still have some of the best supporters in the world of sport.
We still have players that are all prepared to fight for their place and feel the pride of pulling on that famous royal blue jersey.
We still have a forward thinking Supporters' Trust investing in grass roots rugby league and supporting & promoting the club in Swinton.
Everyone involved in the Club, the Trust, the Team, everyone who turns up and pays their entrance money at LSV or Park Lane, everyone who joins the Trust (£2 per month), everyone who buys a programme, everyone who buys a Golden Gamble....every single one of those people loves rugby league and loves OUR CLUB.
Every single one of those people wants the Swinton Lions to be playing back in Swinton.
Only every single one of those people is keeping our Club alive.....keeping our Club alive in the hope that one day we may return to the place where we belong.
Where there is life there is hope.
Where there is support, there is life.
Without that support, without that life, there is no hope of return.
Divided we shall fall, but join us, re-join us, and together WE shall keep that support alive and WE will come home!
No matter which route we go down in the next few months, Dr K or Supporters' Trust, we will need a whole host of people on board and prepared to devote some time to the new set-up and also to raise funds.....yes, even if Dr K comes in and builds a stadium I doubt that he'll be gifting it over to Swinton Lions should he decide to walk away in a few years time. We will still need to do some hefty fundraising to prepare for the possibility that at some stage in the future the Trust need to step in and run the club......a war-chest I think is the term which has been mentioned a couple of times!
So please spread the word and come along....... the more the merrier and …..ssssshhh….the forecast is looking decent!
....and if you know of any boy or girl who fancies putting their first foot on the ladder of the greatest game on the planet then bring them along to see what all the fun is about....coaches from all age-groups will be on hand to chat about having a go and coming along to some training.