Broncos 'will remain full-time'
1:00pm Monday 14th July 2014 in © Press Association 2014
London Broncos head coach Joey Grima says the club will remain full-time in the Kingstone Press Championship in 2015 as they bid to bounce straight back to the Super League with the aid of an eight-point plan.
The Londoners' 19-year unbroken stay in the top flight will come to an end at the close of the 2014 First Utility Super League season after their 72-12 hammering at Warrington on Sunday left them 16 points from safety with seven matches left.
Without a win all year, relegation comes as no surprise and Grima, who succeeded Tony Rea in May, has spent the last two months preparing for the worst.
The Broncos have already lost many of their best players, with home-grown centre Mason Caton-Brown having joined Salford and forward Atelea Vea signing a two-year deal with St Helens, and Grima has revealed that no fewer than 23 players will be moving on.
Hooker James Cunningham, one of five players signed on long-term loan deals, has been recalled by Hull while Castleford are thought to have lined up moves for three of London's regulars in Scott Moore, captain Matt Cook and Denny Solomona.
However, Grima has already announced two signings with plenty more to come and he says he has been assured by chairman David Hughes that he will be able to operate with a full-time squad next year.
"David has given me his assurance that the club will be full-time next year so that's going to give us every chance possible to get into that top four and be able to contest to get back into Super League next year," Grima said.
"Jason (Loubser), our general manager, and David, myself and my staff have been working behind the scenes to set up contingencies and strategies and a plan B for the Championship.
"Because we've been realistic, I think it's going to be a great benefit for us."
In addition to signing half-back Liam Foran and hooker Ray Nasso, Grima has tied up a host of the club's promising youngsters and believes the success of the Broncos' Under-19s team demonstrates a bright future for the professional game in the capital.
"Going back to Championship and starting over again just reassures that we're here for the long term," Grima added. "Given where we are, it's not a bad thing.
"It is exciting. T he planning over the past six to seven weeks, getting in touch with the London-based junior rugby league clubs and having a real interaction with our Under-19s, shows we're taking little steps and there's an eight point plan that we are adhering to or we're following about our philosophies of coaching, our database, recruitment and retention policies.
"They are things which we've identified that are going to ensure us that, given the opportunity to come back up to Super League, we're going to be ready and be able to compete and be able to produce our own out of our own backyard instead of them going to northern-based clubs.
"It is exciting and it just reassures us we're doing the right thing and that Broncos are going to be here for the long haul."
Bradford, the other club likely to be relegated, have also pledged to retain a full-time squad in the Championship.
The Bulls, who are 14 points from safety, are expected to drop their High Court bid to win back the six points docked for going into administration and they will be relegated if they lose at Huddersfield on Sunday.