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Posted by {Hogan} on Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:33 pm
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The 2011 Summer Season is fast approaching and with Wigan Riversiders set to host the historic first ever tour match on English soil with an American club side in April, pre-season preparations are already underway!

The Riversiders finished the 2011 season just missing out on the NW Conference Premier title. After a thrilling play-off semi final victory at Lymm the Riversiders met the unbeaten West Bank in the grand final and found the Widnes side too well oiled. However, after a difficult season all at the club were proud of the strong end of season showing.

In order to take the clubs challenge a step further, club Chairman Dave Morton has spent the off season assembling a coaching team that he hopes will make the club a real force in 2011. “We were pleasantly surprised at the response to our coaching recruitment campaign – both from applicants within the club and externally. I am delighted to announce that Anthony Murray has agreed to take on the head coaching role for 2011.”

Anthony is steeped in rugby league knowledge. He started his career as a player at Wigan and Warrington before spending many years as a professional at Leigh, Barrow, Oldham, Chorley and Batley. More recently Ant earned his coaching wings with Winter National Conference clubs Leigh Miners Rangers and Eccles. Anthony also has some experience of the summer conference, having coached at East Lancashire Lions. His success in the coaching roles lead to his appointment as head coach of Great Britain Eagles in 2009 and he has overseen successful tours of France, Spain and Morocco in the role.

Anthony joins the club immediately and will take charge of pre-season training that starts at Standish High School on 16th February. As always, new players are welcome at the club and a meeting for players old and new to meet the coach will take place on Wednesday 9th February at club headquarters – the Bowling Green on Wigan Lane. For more details see www.wiganriversidersrlc.co.uk.

The Riversiders will again be running a second team in 2011 that will return to the clubs roots by competing in the North West Merit League – a league in which they have twice contested the play off final but have yet to win! And it is a familiar face from those finals that joins the coaching team in 2009 – Anthony Strett was the head coach of the Huyton Bulldogs team that went unbeaten in the 2009 Merit League and accounted for the Riversiders Eels (Riversiders 2nd team) in the 2009 Final. Chairman Morton adds “Anthony is a familiar figure at the Riversiders – the Wigan and Huyton clubs had three memorable contests in 2009. Unfortunately, Huyton have not been able to continue due to difficulties finding facilities. Anthony helped out informally with the Eels in 2010 and I am delighted to formalise his role in 2011. Anthony will take over as joint coach of the 2nd team in 2011 with myself, although in due course I expect my role to be more of a backseat one given his abilities”

The Riversiders will be announcing their scheduled pre-season friendlies in coming weeks prior to the clubs big game with Philadelphia Fight on Thursday 21st April at Robin Park Arena – kick off 7:30pm. The North West Conference Premier will kick off the following weekend. It all points to a fantastic summer of rugby league action!

tommyfromhull wrote:
Wigan are quickly turning into the Wigan of old - Arrogant and think they are invincible.
Posted by headhunter on Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:42 pm
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Really looking forward to the game with the Fight.
King Street Cat wrote:
Some might look at this as being harsh but I think it's fair. When are the Rugby League going to stop persisting with this fantasy expansion. If it hasn't worked by now, it never will! I'm all for reaching out to a wider audience with our game but not at the expense of historical clubs in the homelands.
Posted by west bank on Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:14 am
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Well recruited hogan my money is on you men this summer.

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