At Swinton Lions we are absolutely thrilled that Nick Gregson, the runner-up for the Player of the Year award at our 2021 Presentation Evening, has decided to stay with the club. The former Wigan Warriors and Leigh Centurions second-rower joined us a year ago having previously played at Heywood Road under dual registration. He then went on to have a terrific personal year for the Lions in 2021, and has recently been a target for a number of rival Championship and League 1 clubs.
After putting pen to contract again with the Lions, Nick said, “I’m buzzing to re-sign for another year with Swinton. It’s a great place to be and it’s somewhere that I’ve always felt at home. With the squad members that have stayed, and the new lads that Allan has brought in, it looks really encouraging. I’m now really excited and looking forward to having a good crack at a tough League 1, and to right a few wrongs from last year.”
Head Coach Allan Coleman was also delighted. He said, “It’s a massive signing for our club to retain Nick. We had lots of competition from all divisions, but he chose us. That says we are in the right place as a club. Nick is a fantastic player and I know he will be a leader for me next year. He has the ability and the potential to play at the top level.”
Young winger or full-back Ben Heyes has signed a new deal to keep him at Heywood Road for another season. Ben came to the Lions from Thatto Heath shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic, and has now played ten games for the Lions. 23 years old Ben will no doubt be looking for more first-team opportunities in 2022.
Ben said, “To have the opportunity of staying on again at Swinton is amazing for me. The players, staff and coaches are fantastic and it is an enjoyable environment to be in. Everyone has always been so welcoming at the club and that is demonstrated by players, staff and fans. I’m glad to have the opportunity to once again give something back to this club.”
Swinton Head Coach Allan Coleman added, “Ben is a player that I identified three years ago and is getting better with every game he plays, He has bags of pace and has proved he has the potential to score a lot of tries. It’s great to have Ben on board again for next season.”
We are delighted to announce the signing of Jordan Case from Widnes Vikings. Jordan has also played against the Lions on a number of occasions in a Rochdale Hornets shirt, and now 28 years old he will bring a good deal of experience to the Swinton forward line.
After joining the Lions, Jordan said, “After years of playing against Swinton, I’m more than happy to finally get the opportunity to pull on the Lions’ shirt. I’m looking forward to meeting all the lads and getting stuck into pre season training. Hopefully I can bring some experience to the squad and help push us towards the main goal of promotion back into the Championship.”
Swinton Head Coach Allan Coleman added, “It’s great to get Jordan signed. He is an experienced player who has played with and against a few of our senior players. They have all said the same thing – Jordan is a player that we want with us and not against us! I am really looking forward to working with Jordan this coming season.”
Our latest re-signing for season 2022 is centre Mitch Cox, who also enjoyed success as a second-rower towards the back-end of last season. Mitch, who will turn 28 later this month, joined us in late 2019 from Leigh Centurions, and was a very consistent performer for the Lions last season. After achieving the distinction of being the only player to appear in all of our 26 competitive games of 2021, at our End of Season Presentation Evening Mitch deservedly won the club’s prestigious Man of Steel Award.
After signing his contract renewal Mitch said, “I’d like to say thank you to the Board and to Allan for wanting to keep me at the club for another year. 2022 will be a big season for our team and the club. Our goal has to be to become champions of League One, and we won’t be happy with anything less. I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead and to seeing everyone back at Heywood Road getting behind the team.”
Head Coach Allan Coleman added, “Mitch was by far and away our most consistent player last year, and I am delighted that we have got Mitch to sign for next season. He was outstanding to coach last season and I’m sure he will be even better in 2022. Towards the end of the 2021 season, I moved him to back-rower and I was delighted that he excelled there and made the position his own.”