Newcastle Thunder have advanced their planning for 2024 with two major announcements ahead of their formal application to join the RFL’s Betfred League One competition.
The club had been on the brink of extinction in October and this represents a major recovery from the club to be able to submit their application to League One after initially being forced to withdraw.
Newcastle Thunder have advanced their planning for 2024 with two major announcements ahead of their formal application to join the RFL’s Betfred League One competition. Current Head Coach Chris Thorman will lead the coaching team for the 2024 season. The club also confirmed that Kingston Park Stadium will remain as the Thunder’s primary home venue for next year.
The announcements were made at a Supporters Update Meeting earlier in the week, held at Kingston Park. Speaking to a room full of supports, volunteers and partners Chairman Keith Christie announced
“We are really pleased that Chris has agreed to be Thunder Head Coach for the 2024 season, subject to the club being accepted back into League One. He did a good job last year in very trying circumstances and developed a real rapport with the players and other staff members. He’s a local bloke, has played and coached extensively with a number of top teams and it is a real coup for us to retain his services”.
Speaking about his re-appointment Head Coach Chris Thorman stated: “I’m delighted to be involved again for next season. We are all under no illusion how tough the next 12 months will be if we are included in the 2024 competition. However the excitement of being part of a complete club re-build is significant and long term I know we can enjoy success. Time is now ticking and we need to put together a squad of players, coaches and support staff who share our passion and ambition for the Thunder.”
Further explaining the reasons around remaining at Kingston Park Christie added:
“We looked at a number of venues but ultimately we all realised that we have the ideal home base here at Kingston Park Stadium. The supporters are familiar with it, there are great transport links, it scores very well on the IMG grading and it more than meets all our operational needs. We’d like to thank Semore Kurdi and the senior management team at Newcastle Rugby Limited for making this possible. We will have to work around the Falcons and Newcastle United Women’s Football team but that’s always been the case and the fact we play in the summer helps us.”
Further updates on the evening were given by Christie and other members of the volunteer team aiming to get the Thunder to the starting line in 2024. The three phases of planning were explained in detail with the first stage now nearing competition with the formal application to the RFL being submitted imminently. Once accepted the club will then start to collect membership fees from supporters and sponsors who have so far committed over 75% of the year one target within three weeks of launch.