RFL chief executive Nigel Wood has congratulated Hemel Stags after an impressive first season in Kingstone Press Championship One.
The club made an instant impression on the sport by finishing fifth in rugby league’s semi-professional Championship One competition and making the end-of-season play-offs.
Hemel’s season ended last week with a 44-28 defeat by London Skolars but Wood has been impressed by the progress the Stags have made throughout 2013.
“Hemel Stags’ success this season is a testament to the efforts of everyone associated with a club which has made a positive and significant contribution to the Kingstone Press Championships,” said Wood.
“Making the transition from being a community club to semi-professional was never going to be easy but Hemel have exceeded all expectations and were worthy participants in the play-offs.
“Hemel have played a valuable part in rugby league growing its geographical footprint by giving increasing numbers of players and supporters the opportunity to experience this great sport first hand.”
Hemel chief executive Bob, meanwhile, believes the club is standing on the verge of an exciting era.
“We’ve been competitive in all of our matches and have exceeded all the expectations we set out at the start of the season,” said Brown.
“Reaching the play-offs was a terrific achievement for everyone and something everybody at the club is delighted about.
“Two of our goals were to qualify for the play-offs – which we exceeded by beating Oxford last week – and reaching the fourth round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup, which we did and ended up facing a Super League team in Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
“We’ve had great support from the local businesses and the local media all season long – we’ve even managed to knock football off the back page of the Gazette!
“We’ve done a lot of hard work to build on our fan base and it did not take long for our crowds to really get behind the team.
“We have managed to attract a whole new raft of supporters who are coming to watch professional rugby league.”