PILKINGTON Recs will begin preparations for their return to rugby league’s National Conference leagues next week under a new coaching regime.

The Ruskin Drive based amateurs, who won the North West Men’s League Grand Final in November to secure their first top flight championship in 32 years, secured a place in the new NCL Division Three last autumn.

The famous club were among the founder members of the conference in 1986 but resigned from the competition five years later to resume life in the regional divisions.

However, after making significant strides in the past nine years – firstly under the guidance of John Ledger and more recently, Gareth Haggerty – Recs have opted to take on the challenge of national competition again.

They will be coached by Kurt Haggerty, younger brother of Gareth, who has impressed as assistant coach over the past two and a half years.

The club’s A team, which won the NWML Division Four in 2012, will also have a change of coach after Dave Archer stepped down. Paul Cresswell will step up to take charge.

Billy Dillon, the Recs secretary, said: “It is an exciting time for the club and after winning plenty of silverware in recent seasons – and having excellent facilities at Ruskin Drive – the players wanted the challenge of competing in the national leagues.

“We’d like thank Gareth and Dave for their efforts and successes at the club. Both are leaving because of other commitments and we wish them all the best.

“We’ll resume training with Kurt at the helm next week and new players will be welcome to join us.”

National Conference Division Three kicks off on March 2 and includes teams from outside the game’s heartlands, such as Peterlee and Coventry.

Recs training starts on Monday, January 21, with a 7pm start. Training nights will be Mondays and Thursdays.

Potential recruits can contact Billy Dillon on 07879662940.