Championship giants Halifax RLFC announced during a club meeting this week that they have launched a special initiative in a bid to bring a fresh atmosphere to The Shay stadium.
Club directors Tony Abbott and Ian Croad announced to a packed audience in The Shay’s banqueting suite that they have named their next home fixture against Whitehaven as ‘THE BIG APPLE DAY’, which will be a summer family fun day for their fans to enjoy.
As well as providing entertainment for all ages throughout the afternoon, the initiative will culminate in the club giving away a three night holiday to New York for two lucky fans in the crowd. Everybody who purchases a ticket for the game will receive a free ‘golden ticket’ entry into the prize draw, which will be conducted at half-time of the Championship fixture.
The BIG APPLE DAY is an idea by the Halifax board to rejuvenate the local community and their interest in rugby league as well as an ongoing plan to battle waning attendances that have plagued the Championship teams in recent years. With radical changes drafted by the RFL that would change the way the leagues are structured, many of the Championship teams could find themselves with the opportunity of playing in the highest league, and Halifax would look to take advantage of that immediately.
The club are regarded as one of the frontrunners to win the Championship this year. They are the current Northern Rail Cup champions and have stated their desires to replicate that success in the stands.
Speaking following their club meeting, club director Tony Abbott stated; “We have launched this initiative for our fans to show everybody in the local community and the rugby league community that we can be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. Everybody knows that Championship attendances have been getting lower and lower over the past few years, and we as a club feel that we are in a position to change that and create an environment where families and friends can come and enjoy themselves without breaking the bank.
We want to see the good old days back at Halifax and we are certainly making moves in the right direction both on and off the field. This initiative is not a one off and we have discussed ways to carry on that type of entertainment which will keep the fans coming back for more. I think with the contract extension of Scott Murrell who will be with us until 2016 now, is proof that we are doing everything we can to ensure the safest and brightest future for this historical club.”
Halifax’s BIG APPLE DAY will be held during their Championship clash with Whitehaven on July the 7th at The Shay stadium. The club have a package of entertainment lined up and a prize to give away that is sure to have a few people taking notice of what they are trying to achieve. With radical changes that have been planned by the RFL coming up for review in the near future, it might not be long before Halifax are playing amongst the rugby league elite once again.
Murrell signs contract extension
Halifax captain Scott Murrell has signed a two year contract extension that will keep him at the Shay until the end of 2016.
The former Hull KR playmaker joined Fax on a two year deal last autumn after seven seasons with the Robins and promptly established himself as one of the best players outside Super League with a string of outstanding performances. Murrell is already regarded as many as one of the best players in the Championship, and his outstanding form had attracted interest from top flight clubs, with both Wakefield and Castleford keen to snare him for the 2014 season.
But the 27 year old has now closed the door on any potential move and penned a new deal to stay with Fax for the next three and a half years, news that was announced at Tuesday night’s fans meeting at the Shay. The skipper has also removed the clause in his contract that would allow him to move to a Super League club should any come calling
Halifax boss Karl Harrison stated:
“It’s happened pretty quickly, but it’s quite a coup for us. There has been some interest from other clubs for next year, which Scott has had to consider. We certainly couldn’t compete with the money on offer at that level, but what we could offer was the security of a multi-year deal on his existing terms.
Scott’s had a big influence since he arrived both on the field and off it, and this is a huge commitment for him and the club. We can plan for the future now and build a team around Scott that can achieve great things.”
Murrell was in attendance at the Halifax supporters meeting and also expressed his delight at being offered the multi-year deal:
“I’m over the moon. I had a few other teams after me and I was honest with the club and told them. They came back and put an offer on the table and have given me some security. If I’m honest I love it at this place so it was a no-brainer. The club have some great ambitions to grow in the near future and I wanted to be a part of the changes that will be coming. I enjoy my rugby here and enjoy coming to work and training with some great people.”
With Murrell now at Halifax for the sustained future, Halifax will certainly be in a position to be challenging for honours come the end of the season.