FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED FOR THE LIONS IN 2019

01 January 2019

Happy New Year! With the calendar firmly flipped over to January, we take a look at five reasons why you should be excited to follow the Lions in 2019.

2019 is here and there’s never been a better time to be following Swinton Lions. 

With an exciting year ahead for the club, we have compiled five reasons why you should be looking forward to watching the Lions in 2019.

NEW SIGNINGS

Stuart Littler and his team have signed 14-new faces for the Lions in 2019, including a handful of internationals.

Former Warrington Wolves and Salford Red Devils forward Gavin Bennion joins Welsh teammates Rhodri Lloyd and Mike Butt at Swinton, whilst Scotland international Oscar Thomas will partner Rob Fairclough in the halves in 2019.

Amongst the new faces, there is also some familiar names returning to the side. Adam Jones returns from League One outfit Oldham, and takes the number 11 shirt for the 2019 season, whilst pacey-back Harry Aaronson also re-joins the Lions.

Additionally, a number of players have joined the likes of Aaron Hall making the step up from the amateur game, including utility back Joe Digby and Matty Ashton, and with names like Mike Ratu, Jose Kenga and Daley Williams, the side will be an exciting watch in the upcoming season.

AGECROFT PLANS

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Ask any Swinton Lions fans what they wish most for the club and they will generally give you one answer – a return to M27.

Since the club left the legendary Station Road in April 1992, it has had found temporary home at several different venues whilst the search for a permanent residence continues.

However, October brought fresh hope with a new update on the Agecroft Stadium project as the club aims to make a return to familiar surroundings.

A meeting held between members of the club’s board, Darren Kay and John Baines from community partners Moorside Rangers AFC, Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham and Salford City Council Chief Executive Jim Taylor saw a discussion of a three-phase plan to develop the Agecroft site’s facilities. This included laying a 4G synthetic pitch and introducing standing and seating areas to meet RFL Championship standards.

2019 will see continued discussions with all parties involved and hopefully provide another statement of intent in the club’s quest to return home. Keep your eyes peeled!

A COMPETITIVE CHAMPIONSHIP AND NEW CUP COMPETITION

The Championship is fast becoming one of the most exciting leagues to follow in the sport.

The competition has never been stronger and 2019 will provide the sternest test yet for the club. The likes of Toronto Wolfpack, Toulouse Olympique and the recent relegated Widnes Vikings will provide Super League- ready opposition, whilst the arrival of York City Knights and the return of Bradford Bulls from League 1 will also question Stuart Littler’s men.

Swinton will also go into battle with familiar local rivals Rochdale Hornets on three occasions, including once at the Summer Bash and can also look forward to tough fixtures against Barrow Raiders, Batley Bulldogs, Dewsbury Rams, Leigh CenturionsHalifax and Sheffield Eagles in 2019.

With an impressive trophy haul throughout their history, the Lions also will have the opportunity to add to their silverware as they appear in the new 1895 Cup. The club makes it’s bow in the competition in June, entering at the first round and if successful could earn a trip to Wembley, where the final is held on 24 August.

This is not forgetting the Challenge Cup of course, which the club have won three times in its long 152-year history. Stuart Littler’s men will hope to repeat the recent success when they upset Super League side Huddersfield Giants in 2017, with a famous 28-24 victory. Keep an eye out for the fourth-round draw in March when the Lions join the competition.

Excited to be part of it all? Get your season ticket here.

THAT KIT, MAN….

Throughout its history, Swinton Lions has famed for it’s iconic kit designs including the famous white ‘V’ design that first adorned the club’s shirt in the 1960/61 season.

Despite the club’s proud heritage, 2019 has seen a fresh break from traditional designs in favour of a hoop-style home kit and slick and stylish black alternative away kit.

Launched in early December, both the home and away kits were available to purchase immediately and gained plenty of praise on social media following its release. The squad can’t wait to strut their stuff in these fresh garms!

Got yours yet? Grab yours ahead of the new season by visiting the swintonlionstore.com!

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YOU, THE FANS

Any club would be nothing without its fanbase, especially Swinton Lions.

Whilst the last few years have been testing for the club, the supporters have stuck with the Lions through thick and thin to keep it going and growing.

Whether it is through the Swinton Lions Supporters Trust, which has strongly supported the club and its values since 1992 or through the Pride Builder initiative, again built by loyal supporters, allowing donations which directly assist the club in bringing talented players to the Lions squad.

In the close season alone, Pride Builder has helped improve the squad with contributions towards the signatures of Gavin Bennion and Oscar Thomas, which will dramatically strengthen Stuart Littler’s squad for the upcoming campaign.

This unwavering support and determination from supporters to help the club progress and be successful shows we can do anything with YOU behind us!

Thank you for your valued support and we can’t wait to see you in 2019!

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