The inaugural president of the Asociacion Espanol Rugby League has reflected positively on the organisation’s first year.
Salomé Sansano Zapata, who oversaw the creation of the AERL last August and its affiliation as an Observer of the RLEF in December, said: “The origin of rugby league in Spain arose from the love for this sport from a small group of passionate people who have, step by step, earned a lot of respect.
“In this short and intense season we have had some emotional moments, such as recognition as Observer by the RLEF, the impressive debut of our national team and the fight to conquer our first championships. Our dream has become reality thanks to the hard work of all.”
On the international stage, Spain beat Belgium twice under the stewardship of coach Darren Fisher while domestically, the AERL conducted a six-team national championship and cup competition, totalling 16 full games.
New clubs in Madrid and Catalonia are expected to join the AERL before the start of the 2015 season as they move towards two four-team conferences in the first division.
Their longer term objective is to cultivate regional leagues in Valencia – which is the centre of Spanish rugby league at the moment, with six clubs – Madrid, Alicante and Catalonia.