Hemel Stags

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Hemel Stags
Hemel Stags logo.svg
Club information
Full name Hemel Stags Rugby League Club
Nickname(s) Stags
Website hemelstags.com
Colours Hemelcolours.png
Founded 1981
Current details
Ground(s)
Chairman Bob Brown
Coach Troy Perkins
Manager Samantha Allum
Competition League 1
2016 League 1 15th
Uniforms
Home colours
Away colours
Records
National Conference League Division 3 1 (2012)
London League 3 (1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91)
Southern Cup 1 (1995)
Rugby League Alliance First Division 1 (1998)
RLC Eastern Division 1 (2000)

Hemel Stags R.L.C. is a professional rugby league club based in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England. The club has played in Kingstone Press League 1 since the 2013 season.

History[edit]

"Hemel Hempstead Amateur Rugby League Football Club" played its first match on 5 April 1981 against the Walthamstow-based McEntee, losing 38–0. It began as a pub team wearing borrowed jerseys. After a series of friendly fixtures during summer 1981, the club was formally constituted and joined the Second Division of the South Amateur Rugby League. The club's original logo featured Henry VIII as the local association football team Hemel F.C. is nicknamed "The Tudors".

During the club's early seasons, success on the field was hard to come by. Nevertheless, the club was determined to prosper and in its fourth season it opened its first social club at Pennine Way in February 1985 – a modest self-build affair. Commercial pressures led to the club leaving the London League division two and joining the Midlands and South West Amateur Rugby League Association (MASWARLA) for the 1986–87 and 1987–88 seasons. This brought playing success and on the club's return to the London Amateur Rugby League it became the dominant force in amateur rugby league in the South of England.

Hemel were London League champions in 1989–90 and 1990–91 and from there joined the Rugby League Alliance in 1991; the club played the reserve teams of professional clubs. At the same time, the club appointed Chris Tate as its first full-time development officer with the task of developing junior and youth players in Hemel. The first Stag logo appeared at this time.

The club spent three seasons in the National Conference League Premier Division between 1993 and 1996. David Ellis coached at the club during the 1993–94 and the 1994–95 seasons. A move to the National Conference League saw the club narrowly miss promotion to the professional ranks in 1993. In 1994, Hemel played London Broncos in the Regal Trophy, leading 18–6 at half-time only to succumb in the final 10 minutes. The club's playing depth that day was emphasised when, in the curtain-raiser, its reserves won the Southern Counties Cup against the all-Kiwi South London Warriors.

Hemel were the last winners of the Southern Cup in 1996, beating London Colonials at Roslyn Park RFC. The club was relegated from the NCL Premier division in 1995–96 finishing bottom, having played 22 won 4 and lost 18. After relegation Hemel resigned, spent a year in the London League then returned to the Rugby League Alliance in 1997. Hemel won the First Division of the Alliance in 1998 under player-coach Jay Turner and would have won promotion to the Super League Alliance but for their lack of a suitable stadium; their plan to build a stadium with National Lottery money having fallen through. The name, Hemel Stags, emerged in the late 90s in place of the cumbersome Hemel Hempstead Amateur Rugby League Football Club.

With the Rugby League Alliance being scrapped and its application for the Northern Ford Premiership rejected again because of their lack of a stadium, Hemel joined the newly formed Rugby League Conference for the 1999 season. After several years in the Rugby League Conference they entered the newly formed National League 3 in 2003. Although the club lost all of its games in the first season, it progressed steadily and made the 2006 Grand Final under new coach Troy Perkins, losing to Bramley Buffaloes.

In 2006, the club entered the Northern Rail Cup, where the team met local rivals St Albans Centurions as well as the semi-professional clubs London Skolars and Crusaders. Hemel finished in second place in the 2006 league table and qualified through the play-offs for the Grand Final, where they lost to Bramley Buffaloes by 30 points to 8.

The arrival of Callum Irving as community rugby league coach in 2006 revitalised junior rugby league in Hemel and subsequently led to the club joining the Gillette National Youth League in 2008. In September 2008, the club obtained planning permission for a small stadium at Pennine Way and in 2010 the first stage was completed with the enclosure of the ground and the opening of an all-weather training pitch and the floodlighting of the main pitch.

In February 2012, Hemel was announced as the second side to join an expanded Championship 1 division for the 2013 season. Hemel Stags beat Huddersfield Underbank Rangers 17–10 in the National Conference League Division 3 Grand Final on 29 September 2012.

In the first campaign as a professional team, Hemel Stags finished fifth in the Kingstone Press Championship 1 claiming a play-off place. After defeating Oxford RLFC 30-26 at the Pennine Way Stadium in the first round, Hemel left the competition following a 28-44 loss away to London Skolars.

The 2014 season again seen Hemel Stags challenging for a play-off place, and they are currently[when?] in fifth position in the Kingstone Press Championship 1 table.

Hemel Stags finished the regular season of the Kingstone Press Championship 1 in the playoffs places for the second time in their first two seasons of being a semi-professional[rugby league] club. They finished in fifth position with 33 points after drawing 22-22 against Oxford at Iffley Road.

The club has played in a number of leagues over the years, from the London League, MASWARLA, National Conference League and the Alliance League. The dilemma for the club was how to raise standards without the costs of constant trips to the stronger leagues in the North of England.

The club has an active development policy in the town and a number of schools and junior sides are supported by the development officer.

Rugby league has a long history in Hemel schools with some of them having played it for 20 years. The schools' work has produced a number of talented rugby league players, including Dan Sarginson who now plays for the Super League club, Wigan and Kieran Dixon for Hull Kingston Rovers. Jack Howieson and Simon Tillyer played professionally for the Championship club, Sheffield Eagles.

As of the 2017 season, Hemel Stags have moved their training base to Dewsbury, West Yorkshire

2017 squad[edit]

* Announced on 5 February 2017:

Hemel Stags 2017 Squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coach


Legend:
  • (c) Captain
  • (vc) Vice captain

Updated: 5 February 2017
Source(s): 2017 Squad Numbers

2017 transfers[edit]

Gains

Player Club Contract length Date
Australia Mitch Vincent Doncaster 1 Year September 2016
England Jamie Milburn Hunslet 1 Year September 2016
England Marcus Elliott hunslet 1 Year September 2016
England Josh Ellis Dewsbury Rams 1 Year October 2016
England Mindu Bendikas Thornhill Trojans 1 Year October 2016
England Dom Horn Dewsbury Rams 1 Year October 2016
England Kyle Trout Dewsbury Rams 1 Year October 2016
England Charlie Brown Leeds Rhinos 1 Year October 2016
England Reece Williams Doncaster 1 Year October 2016
England Dan Hawksworth Sharlston Rovers 1 Year October 2016
England Alex Williams Sheffield Eagles 1 Year November 2016
England Darren Forde Sheffield Eagles 1 Year November 2016
England Kevin Wroe Sheffield Eagles 1 Year November 2016
Italy Santino Decaro Oxford Rugby League 1 Year November 2016
England Will Copley Dewsbury Celtic 1 Year November 2016
Australia Jorge Richardson Oxford Rugby League 1 Year December 2016
England Scott Lee Keighley Cougars 1 Year December 2016
England Mark Barlow Dewsbury Moor 1 Year December 2016
England Ross White Siddal ARLFC 1 Year December 2016
England Liam Coe West Bowling 1 Year December 2016
England Harley Axe Sheffield Eagles 1 Year January 2017
England Jack O'Brien Berry-Shoalhaven Heads Magpies 1 Year January 2017
England Aaron James Batley Boys 1 Year February 2017
England James Thornton Dewsbury Rams 1 Year February 2017
England Rhys Allatt Wakefield Trinity 1 Year February 2017
Scotland Roddy Jonas Coventry Bears 1 Year February 2017
England Joshua Halliday Bradford Bulls 1 Year February 2017
England Danny Samuels Bradford Dudley Hill 1 Year February 2017
England Andrew Walker Bradford Dudley Hill 1 Year February 2017
England Declan Tomlinson Hunslet Parkside 1 Year February 2017
England Wayne Jowett Mirfield Stags 1 Year February 2017

Losses

Player Club Contract length Date
England BJ Swindells Retirement N/A September 2016
England Ben Stead Gloucestershire All Golds 1 Year September 2016
England Malikhi Lloyd-Jones Gloucestershire All Golds 1 Year September 2016
England Reece Rance Gloucestershire All Golds 1 Year September 2016
Ireland Liam O'Callaghan Oxford Rugby League 1 Year October 2016
Scotland Harrison Brough Oxford Rugby League 1 Year November 2016
England Dave O'Connor South West Chargers 1 Year December 2016
Australia Dylan Redman Released N/A December 2016
Scotland Mike Stewart Released N/A December 2016
England Josh Spearing Released N/A December 2016
England Matt Ross Released N/A December 2016
Malta Kyal Greene Released N/A December 2016
England Dominic Maloney Released N/A December 2016
England Aaron Hall Released N/A December 2016
England Will O'Brien Released N/A December 2016
England Marcus Stock Released N/A December 2016
England Josh Halstead Released N/A December 2016
England Elliot Menelly Released N/A December 2016
England Adam Booth Released N/A December 2016
England Andy Parrott Released N/A December 2016
England Ash Gyngell Released N/A December 2016
England Luke Patterson Released N/A December 2016
Australia Rhys Bowditch Released N/A December 2016
England Mitchell Stephenson Released N/A December 2016
England Paul Stewart-Beckett Released N/A December 2016
England Oli Toms Released N/A December 2016

Club staff[edit]

Coaching team[edit]

Name Position
Troy Perkins Head coach
Dan Stocks Assistant coach
Matt Lambert Strength and conditioning coach

Juniors[edit]

Cluster clubs enter the winter Chilterns Junior League at under-13 and under-15 age groups. Hemel Stags also field a team in the Gillette National Youth League and age group London Junior League.

Club honours[edit]

  • London League: 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91
  • Southern Cup: 1995
  • Rugby League Alliance First Division: 1998
  • RLC Eastern Division: 2000
  • RLC South Central Division: 2001, 2002
  • London Junior League: 2006, 2008
  • NCL Division 3: 2012

References[edit]

External links[edit]