Hunslet in good shape for League One return

Hunslet chairman Ken Sykes.Hunslet chairman Ken Sykes.
Hunslet chairman Ken Sykes.
Hunslet have made “significant progress” over the past year, despite the impact of coronavirus, club members have been told.

In a report from the board, chairman Ken Sykes said the supporter-owned club, which was in a “testing position” towards the end of 2019, is now in a “much-improved” situation.

Hunslet have not played since rugby league was shut down last March when the Parksiders were top of Betfred League One.

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They are due for a return to action when the Challenge Cup kicks off on the first weekend of March and the 10-team league competition is scheduled to begin two weeks later.

It is not yet known if supporters will be admitted to matches at the start of the season.

League One fixtures and the competition format are set to be confirmed by the middle of this month.

The board’s briefing outlines the advances made up to last November and confirms “contingency plans are in place in anticipation of possibly fluctuating future developments relating to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent reactions of the government and the Rugby Football League”.

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Sykes praised members for “backing the club to the hilt” and also paid tribute to “sponsors and fans as a whole, together with the coaching and playing staff”.

He added:“Without doubt this has been an extremely challenging year worldwide, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and rugby league, as with all sports, has been massively impacted.

“Despite that, the club finds itself in a much-improved position across a range of key areas over the last 12 months.”

The club’s annual meeting will be held online on Friday, January 22 (7pm) to formally present the accounts and allow members to ask questions.

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Hunslet have retained the majority of their 2020 squad and boosted their promotion hopes with additions including ex-Keighley Cougars pair Will Cooke and Lewis Wray and Jamaica internationals Aaron Jones-Bishop, from Oldham and Jy-mel Coleman, who was with Newcastle Thunder last year.

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