WAKEFIELD FC director Pete Bevils believes the non-league club can go from strength-to-strength after agreeing a groundshare deal with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
The Bears, who play in Evo-Stik Division 1 North, will kick-off the new season at the Super League club’s Rapid Solicitors Stadium, the club’s second stint at the ground, and Bevils is hoping the move will boost crowds and help attract new players.
“We wanted a home that we could call our own from a football point of view,” he said.
“We’ve been in talks with the Wildcats for a fair while now, Andrew Glover [Wildcats chairman] and James Elston [Wildcats chief executive] have been great. We’ve had to endure 18 months of turmoil as a club and the move will allow us to settle and almost make a fresh start
“Everybody within the club has done a great job in that time and hopefully now we’ll begin to grow.
“The facilities at the Wildcats are great, hopefully we’ll see more supporters come and watch us and it should also help attract new players.”
The club played at Belle Vue for six years from the start of the 2000-01 season under the Wakefield and Emley AFC banner, just missing out on promotion to the Conference by a single point to Stalybridge Celtic.
The penultimate match of that campaign saw the club lose 3-2 to Stalybridge in front of 3,708 supporters and Bevils, who was in attendance that day, hopes the move to share with the city’s rugby league club will help Wakefield grow in stature.
The Bears had been playing at College Grove before moving to share Ossett Town’s Stade France ground last season.
They’ll kick-off their campaign at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Sunday, August 19 when Skelmersdale United are the visitors (kick-off 3pm).
See this week’s Wakefield Express for more on this story.