Giovanni Cinque, general manager of South London Storm, recently unveiled details of the club’s plans for the forthcoming season.
Following the departure of head coach Andy Gilvary at the end of last season, former London Skolars player Marcus Tobin will be taking over the coaching reigns at Strom Park. Tobin who also played for St Albans Centurions has built up a solid coaching record over the last few years, working with the London Broncos Academy set-up, England Lionhearts, London Skolars and most recently the Cambridge University side. Following the successes of recent years Tobin will inherit the core of a very good squad and will hope to continue the work done by Gilvary and Rob Powell before him.
Players will benefit from reduced membership rates this year, with annual subscription costs dropping £20 from last season to just £80 (payable in a variety of ways). As well as receiving a club polo shirt as part of their membership, players will also qualify for a free season ticket covering all Harlequins RL Super League games.
The free season ticket offer is likely to be based on the unallocated East Stand season ticket currently being offered for £65 by Quins RL (see here for further details). It is not yet clear whether the free ticket offer is being extended to playing members of all London amateur clubs, but it would fit with recent comments made by Quins RL CEO Paul Brown that he was planning an initiative to reward the contribution of the amateur clubs to rugby league in London.
In recent years Quins RL have faced criticism for playing their fixtures concurrent with the local amateur competitions; given that fewer clashes are scheduled for the 2008 season such a move may well help build stronger bridges with the amateur clubs. Quins RL will no doubt be hoping to recoup some of the investment via match day merchandising.
Storm’s pre-season preparations start 7:30 Tuesday 11th March down at Storm Park (see here for further details), with the first pre-season trial match against Kent Ravens slated for 2:30 at Princes Park in Dartford (further details tba).