Directors' £1m plan to put Dewsbury on map

By Trevor Watson DEWSBURY Rams directors are prepared to provide up to £1m to help make the club one of the best in rugby league.

February is a big month for the Rams. Next Thursday Kirklees Council will at last consider the plans for the five-a-side complex at Owl Lane. A couple of weeks later Ossett Town Football Club members will consider proposals for ground sharing at Tetley's Stadium and this too could open up many avenues for development.

Both decisions will have a big saying on the future of the Rams but chairman Mark Sawyer said that in any case the Dewsbury directors were ready to invest a substantial amount into developing the club.

He added: "If Ossett Town agree to move in with us we shall invest with them up to 1m, both to invest at Owl Lane and elsewhere.

"We still have plans for such as a luxury gymnasium on the land but we could also make outside investments, such as buying land and then renting it out with the proceeds going to the club.

"However, our priority is still to develop around the ground and any additional income which can be brought into the club will be.

"When we took over as directors four years ago, the Rugby League described us as the worst run club in the game. We aim to make it the best and we have already taken great strides.

"We also want to have the strongest team outside Super League and if we achieve that, we shall then aim at a much higher goal."

Ossett Town are understood to be ready to sell their ground for supermarket development which would mean they too have funds available. Mr Sawyer stressed: "The Ossett link is important because it would be a partnership, after all most successful stadiums have more than one partnership.

"However, even if Ossett Town reject the proposed deal, we shall still go ahead with such as the development of the various function rooms at the club, which has already been announced, and the directors will still make money available for further investment.

"The finances are in place and the commitment is there from the Dewsbury board to invest substantial sums, whatever the circumstances. We are determined this club will attain the heights."

So far as the playing side is concerned, the Rams were happy to end their pre-season matches with a brisk work-out against Division Three outfit Bramley Buffaloes.

The side took their chances and again finished in good style to suggest the stamina is right. Stand-off Francis Maloney again took on the goalkicking role and coach Andy Kelly suggested this was likely to be the situation when the serious matches start.

Second row Rob Kelly took a knock on a hip and Kevin Crouthers joined Warren Jowitt and Ian Preece on the list of those suffering from a back problem. At least the Rams have two weeks to try and get the injured men fit.

They were working on conditioning this week but after today will concentrate on ball work. Kelly said: "If we can clear up three or four injuries we shall be in a good situation with plenty of choice.

"We have had three different types of pre-season matches against Batley, Bradford and Bramley and I think the players have learned from each of them. We shall be ready for the start of the season."