We're sponsored by Glossop Caravans


27 November 2017

Swinton Lions announce the appointment of a Community Foundation Manager and launch a ground-breaking youth development partnership.

The club is delighted to announce the appointment of a Community Foundation Manager, and can also exclusively reveal that an application has been submitted to the Rugby Football League to establish a Category 3 Academy in partnership with The Rugby College, based at Salford Sports Village.

Neil Hayden, a former Lions’ player who has worked in college rugby for 13 years, will join the Swinton Lions Foundation with immediate effect. He will quickly set about the task of engaging the Lions with the Swinton and wider Manchester community, including local community clubs, primary schools and secondary schools.

Speaking enthusiastically about his new role with the Foundation, Neil said, “With all the fantastic work and optimism around the town since Andy Mazey became Swinton Chairman, it’s clear that the club is only going in one direction. It will be a privilege to become part of this historic club’s bright future, while sharing and supporting the vision of Andy and the Lions’ Board. I think it’s going to be a fantastic journey, and I will do my upmost to implement programs that will benefit the club for many years to come.”

Speaking about the partnership with The Rugby College, Neil added, “The Lions will be immediately applying to the RFL to establish a Category 3 Academy which will be run in partnership with The Rugby College. This will give Head Coach Stuart Littler the option to look at players from our own Swinton Lions Academy side moving forward. The Rugby College is a full time Educational Scholarship where both male and female learners train on a daily basis, as well as having educational lessons at Salford Sports Village. Therefore this partnership puts in place a fantastic opportunity for any young player who aspires to play professional Rugby League with Swinton Lions.”

Commenting on behalf of Swinton Lions, the Chairman Andy Mazey said, “We are continuing to demonstrate that we’re building a long-term sustainable development programme at Swinton Lions. The arrival of Neil Hayden to spearhead our Foundation and implement a clear player pathway are further evidence of that philosophy, and these are very important developments for the Lions as well as for the town of Swinton and the wider rugby community of Manchester. The aim of this partnership is to ultimately create a pathway to our first team, but we also believe that the formation of an Academy will strengthen our links with local community clubs.

“We fully accept and understand that having been away from our home town for 25 years there have been insufficient opportunities for local youngsters to progress through to the Lions’ ranks. Kick-starting the Community Foundation with the ambition of growing our presence locally prior to returning to M27, goes hand in hand with the new player pathway we are establishing. With the support of everyone involved, including the local community clubs, we can achieve our goals.”

Don’t forget you can order your 2018 season tickets and 1866 Club membership now at Swinton Lions Shop.


Sale FC
Primus Traffic Management
Glossop Caravans
Created by Rugby League World Cup England 2021
Camway Installations
Daisymill Technologies
Swinton Lions Supporters Trust