London Broncos target long-term success in Super League
Promoted London Broncos must have the ambition to win Super League in the future, says head coach Danny Ward.
The Broncos will be back in the top flight in 2019 after beating Toronto Wolfpack 4-2 in the Million Pound Game on Sunday.
“We need to make it work, have a five-year plan of where we want to be,” Ward told BBC Radio London.
“Next year is going to be tough but we want a long-term vision to make London the best club in the country.”
He added: “We don’t just want to compete in Super League, but win it. We are not there just to survive.”
Ward, who took charge following the departure of Andrew Henderson at the end of last season, described their victory over the Wolfpack in Canada as “one of the proudest moments” of his career.
“What a performance, what a day and what an achievement – I am still on a massive high,” he said on their return to England.
“To lead the club into the Million Pound Game and win promotion is one of my biggest ever achievements.”
Broncos return ‘huge for the game’
The Broncos were founder members of Super League in 1996 but were relegated in 2014, a year after narrowly avoiding going into administration.
The club have had an itinerant existence over the course of their history – with Craven Cottage, Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, The Valley, Griffin Park and Twickenham Stoop among longer-term homes.
They have played at the Trailfinders Sports Club in Ealing since 2016.
Ward had described the Million Pound Game as the club’s biggest since the Challenge Cup final in 1999, and thinks promotion from the Championship offers an opportunity to re-establish the sport in the south of the country.
“It is huge to be back in Super League,” he said.
“We had a tough couple of years in the Championship but this is massive for the game down south.
“It is hopefully the start of the journey now – we have got to really build on it and make it a success.
“We have started something special with junior development and had six London lads in the side against Toronto. We have got to continue that progress and keep building.”
Promotion provides opportunity
Analysis – BBC Radio London’s Phil Parry
London Broncos will take their place back in the Super League as a club with a real ethos, togetherness and a plan to build towards further success.
Promotion brings recognition of all the hard work and commitment by everyone at the Broncos – from owner David Hughes, the coaching staff, players and those working in the back office – who have the turned the bleak times of 2014 into a bright future in 2018.
It is a huge boost for the grassroots of the game which, although unheralded, are vibrant in London and the south east. The Broncos already provide a pathway for talented local players to progress to a professional environment, but the incentive of the Super League will only increase the levels of excitement.
A place at the top table will also help the club and the sport grow its supporter base in London and provide an opportunity to attract more people through the turnstiles, along with new investors and sponsors.