Raiders Chief Executive Peter Tiffin looks back at 2021 & discusses plans for 2022
As we enter 2022, I thought it was a good idea to recap on a very eventful year in 2021 an
update everyone on our plans for 2022.
I’m sure everyone involved at the Raiders last year went through every emotional possible as we saw many headline topics. The year began with the club in very high spirits after a positive recruitment drive seeing ex british lion Gavin Henson, previous man of steel Rangi Chase & past Scarlet Morgan Allen joining the talented Raiders 2021 squad.
Within the second moth of the year, it was a massive shock and a very difficult time for all as part owner and fellow founder of the Raiders Aneurin Gravell passed away, he was a massive part of the club with so many not knowing the amount of effort and time he put in behind the scenes to support in getting the Raiders where they are today. I myself still catch myself at some points thinking what would Gravs say in this situation, he will never be forgotten and will always be in our thoughts.
It was a difficult start to the season with a home encounter against rugby league giants Widnes Vikings in the challenge cup, only 3 clubs decided to enter the challenge cup in 2021 due to no crowds allowed to enter any games in the early rounds. With the hype around the club and no crowds allowed to enter Stebonheath Park for our challenge cup fixture, BBC decided to stream our game live and over 100,000 people tuned in to watch the fixture.
The League 1 season began with still no supporters allowed to attend, this was very difficult as so many wanted to come and see the Raiders and their high-profile players, but we adapted to the times with some games being shown live in partnership with our home bar on their big screen.
Once the restrictions were lifted and crowds were allowed to return it was a positive for the players at home as we saw scores become much more competitive with a late try for Rochdale hornets to win 18-30, Workington Town to work hard for their 22-38 win and Doncaster to score in the last play of the game to snatch a draw 24-24. I want to really thank all of our supporters as they are always behind the club its staff and the players in everything we do and can see the bigger picture.
As the season concluded the results may not have been what most were expecting from the Raiders in 2021 but the improvements were second to none seeing a massive improvement in majority of the score lines and the performances shocking a lot of people.
The early months of the off season saw plenty of activity with the topic of the reduction in the sports TV broadcast income being the major talking point for all the clubs. For many it’s been very challenging times firstly with no spectators and now a drop in funding for all and could have threatened the existence for a few. Everyone at the club from board all the way through to staff have continued to work hard to make sure the Raiders continue within the professional game and strive towards the goals set within our business plan.
We as a club decided after last season to revaluate our goals and amend our plans to continue to try and grow rugby league in Wales and our brand within the sport.
One of our main focuses for 2022 is to work much closer with Wales Rugby League, we feel as a club we haven’t been involved with the community and international game in Wales since before 2019. Looking in at all the work the community clubs in Wales have been trying to achieve is very positive, it is also disappointing seeing some struggle, but majority of the signs are encouraging, proving that there is a lot of interest within every aspect of the game, as juniors, seniors, ladies, wheelchair and masters all showing how engaging rugby league is.
I look forward to another eventful and positive year for all of us all connected to the club.
We are all looking forward to seeing you at some point in the New Year at our home of Stebonheath Park.
Peter Tiffin, CEO & Part Owner of West Wales Raiders