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Rugby League: Jim Green trying to establish youth pathway from Chester Gladiators to Super League side Crusaders

AMBITIOUS young rugby league chairman Jim Green believes his fast-growing club could soon provide Welsh giants Crusaders with Super League stars of the future.

Glyndwr University student Green, 27, runs Chester Gladiators, who draw players from Flintshire, and is hoping the club can provide young talented players from Flintshire and Cheshire to feed the Crusaders Super League side.

He established the Gladiators in 2008 to fill the void left after the Chester Wolves rugby league side folded two years earlier.

And in two years Green, who was also a founder member of the City Fans United group that saved Chester FC, has helped restore rugby league to the area by signing Gladiators up to play in the RL Merit League in the summer.

He now believes Crusaders, who have no formal youth system in North Wales, are already beginning to see the benefits of their neighbours’ efforts.

“We have an excellent relationship with Crusaders and have several young players on their books,” he said.

“I like to think they see us playing an important role in rugby league youth development in the area.”

Earlier this year, Green set up a second club, Chester ARLFC, who play through the winter in North West Counties Division Six.

Green, who is also a prop forward, added: “I’ve always been a big football fan and had never really watched rugby until I went along with a friend to watch a Crewe Wolves match and loved it.

“I decided I wanted to play rugby league but was shocked to discover there was no local team.

“So we did an appeal in the Chronicle, borrowed some kit and balls and it snowballed from there.

“Now we have a full senior team and three junior sides.”

The club has thrived since its inception and developed strong links with Warrington Wolves.

Now approaching their third season, the Gladiators, who split their time between Chester Rugby Club and Chester University, have around 175 players in all age groups.

“This year is exciting,” said Green. “The junior sides are improving all the time and hopefully the seniors will move up the league table.”

To learn more about the Gladiators email Jim at [email protected]