London RL Honoured with Rugby Football League Vice Presidency



Skolars Director Mark Croston was elected as the Vice President of the RFL at last week’s RFL Annual General Meeting. Its the first time a London club has received such an honour, reflecting the impact London Skolars have had on the sport in the capital and throughout the game. 


Its a busy year in office and Mark is both delighted with the appointment and excited by the year ahead ‘I accepted the appointment on behalf of the Skolars supporters, volunteers, players, sponsors, staff and of course fellow directors – who have all worked tirelessly to build a club that is like no other. I came to London originally to play for the Broncos in their inaugural season and have stayed with the cause as a volunteer,  coach, director and fan ever since. I wil use my year in office doing all I can to enhance the sports reputation in London and beyond. ‘


What have been your most memorable moments in the sport?

When Skolars entered the Pro Leagues, I remember standing outside the changing room after I had addressed the squad as Head Coach before our first game v Dewsbury Rams.  I looked over to the main grandstand which was packed with the London RL family.  I was both elated and suddenly aware of the level we had stepped up to. A very tense moment indeed. Other moments include making my debut for the Broncos in Carlisle with fellow Director Andrew Jackson cheering me on and taking part in the Coca-Cola Sydney Sevens for Canada. Clearly my years spent in the sport in Wigan provided me with so much in terms of how the sport is played and how it embeds itself on a community. I was lucky enough to pull on the shirt of great clubs there, Ince,  a club my father established, Wigan St Pats and the cherry and white of Wigab – fantastic places to learn and test yourself. I was fortunate to see close up the likes of Shaun Edwards and was lucky enough to have the influence of the late great Mike Gregory to draw on. I played for clubs in Australia and France too which gave me so much experience to draw on and broadened my horizons significantly. 

Who would you rate as the best and most influential players you have seen or played with? 

The two I’ve already mentioned are pretty obvious, however,  it was another Gregory, Andrew who I admired more then any.  I also learned a lot from Benny Elias who played in the NRL for Balmain, NSW and Australia – one of the first modem number 9s. 

During my time in London, playing with John Gallagher was fantastic and he was a very astute guy off the field – always there to help young players like myself. The Skolars list is endless,  yet several names spring to mind, Charlie Oyebade was so talented and unique, Rubert Jonker was just brilliant to work with and the heart of the team, Gareth Honor brought so much to the club in his own inimitable style and we had a front rower from New Zealand Brent Wedlake who was just a phenomenal player who simply got on with the job.

However, the most talented player I played with was from my schooldays – a stand off from Ince, Wayne Reid who I played with at Leigh Rangers, Ince St Williams and St Pats,  who went on to play at Salford and Rochdale. 

How has the sport changed since you came to London? 

It’s tempting to judge any sport or commodity on headlines and  silverware or in comparison to the EPL. However, when I came to London,  there was one pro club,  which was essentially a group of overseas players and a few hundred fans – and what I see today is a quarter of a century of growth – players,  volunteers, fans, reach via digital media, sponsors schools and community clubs and most significant of all – heritage, memories and second and third generations of family’s flowing naturally through the sport. How do you measure the value of that and also the cost of it not being there? 

Where do you see the sport in another 25 years?

The digital age provides our sport with its most significant opportunity to grow since 1895. That said,  the same applies for other sports which could be more relevant to the generations to come. In my other role as Chairman of World Dodgeball, it’s clear to me that our sport and Dodgeball can expand massively into new territories, both literally and digitally – if it evolves, and becomes relevant to modern audiences.  My fear is that there the forces of stability and protectionism with the sport will hold the sport back.

You mentioned Dodgeball – what is a rugby league man from Wigan doing there?

When you see Dodgeball played at a community level though to elite,  what struck me was it’s simplicity, dynamism and that it was fun for everyone involved,  win lose or draw. I felt that it was a sport that could get people active like no other. You can’t take your eyes of it,  like rugby league at its best.

London Skolars are recruiting a General Manager to lead to the club through the next Phase of its development. The role is varied and rewarding, affording the right candidate to excel and make their mark in the world of rugby league.

A full job description and further information can be found below. Applications should be made by CV and covering letter to

London Skolars General Manager – Job description outline.

Overall Summary & Purpose of Position: The General Manager role will be responsible for and provide leadership and direction to the commercial, marketing, events, operations and administration functions within the Club.  Key to success being to increase revenues through corporate products, events, merchandise and match day sales. There is also additional revenue potential in sweating assets such as the London Skolars Clubhouse, gym facilities and digital streams.

Duties & Responsibilities: They include, but are not limited to:

x Provide leadership, direction and motivation for the Corporate Sales Executive and Community Development Manager.

x Help develop and implement the corporate sales, marketing, events and operations strategy for the club for the coming years.  Sales:

x Maximising all corporate sales revenue via events, hospitality, player sponsors  and sponsorship.

x Work closely with the CEO and Corporate Sales Exec to develop the sales strategy for the attraction of new Corporate partners x Working closely with the Corporate Sales Exec and be responsible for the delivery and development of all corporate sales products, events and sponsorship packages.

x Develop a full portfolio of corporate sales products including match day hospitality packages, and event sales related products. 

x Work with Corporate Sales Exec to ensure 1st class delivery of all products x Account manage sponsors


Fan Revenue & Marketing:

x Maximising all fan-sourced revenue via season tickets, match tickets, merchandising sales and lottery.

x Customer relationship management, including responsibility for customer databases and the development of direct marketing channels.

x Advertising and other promotion; events – both match day and non match day – and sports presentation management

x Development of an integrated internet/online presence including website

x Development of the London Skolars brand


London Skolars General Manager  Job Description 


x Help support the Community Development Manager in the development of a community marketing strategy.

x Help support the Community Development Manager in the implementation of that community marketing strategy.


Operations and general Admin

x Lottery 

x Marketing mail outs 

x Database input…development kids 

x Schools (bookings and time sheets) 

x Stadium liaison for matchday 

x Pitch bookings (development and senior) 

x RFL paperwork: Grounds safety reports, match amendments 

x Website updates 

x SSC admin (database, bcards, phone calls, letters) 

x Programme production x Promoting match days prior to game day 

x Attendance at match days 

x Selling club offers to local business community – adverts, lottery, hospitality, player sponsors etc 

x Various other tasks as they arise  x Create Weekly / Monthly report for CEO        


Other Competencies and Personal Qualities:

x Strong computer skills and IT literacy including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Audience View Ticketing System and graphic related files

x Well developed communication skills – both verbal and written x A good organiser and planner with the ability to prioritise 

x Team player 

x Excellent written and spoken communication skills

x Excellent people skills x Personable, friendly & approachable

x Proactive, engaging & outgoing x Good customer service skills

x Good organisational skills

x Good at relationship building & nurturing

x High levels of energy and dynamism

x Able to think outside the box x Integrity



x Basic Salary: TBA Plus Commision 

x 20 days annual holiday

x General Expenses

 Working Hours & Additional Information: The job is a full time post, working 40 hours per week, with a requirement for weekend work during the rugby season; in addition some additional hours during busy periods. The role will be based primarily at London Skolars main office –  White Hart lane Community Sports Centre, White Hart Lane, Wood Green, London, N22 5QW.Regular weekend work will be required as well as irregular hours & availability for all match days. There will be time off in lieu for weekend work.  The above duties and responsibilities are not an exhaustive list and you may be required to undertake any other reasonable duties compatible with your experience and competencies. This description may be varied from time to time to reflect changing business requirements





London Skolars are delighted to announce a series of new signings that will join the squad next week.

Jacob Ogden and Rob Butler, both of whom have recently been promoted to the London Broncos first grade squad will have the opportunity to play competitive men’s rugby for the first time since impressing for the U19s throughout this year. Both Ogden and Butler join on loan until the end of the season.

The club have also resigned Ollie Purslow from UoG All Golds. Purslow who has played 99 times for the Skolars will be looking for his 100th appearance having returned to London.


Another familiar face that will be returning to New River is that of Smokie Junor. Junor has previously played for the Skolars but had his leg broken playing in Capital Challenge against Wigan Warriors in 2014. Smokie, who has impressed for the Academy team throughout this season is looking forward to stepping back up to the first grade squad.

Head Coach Jermaine Coleman commented on these signings and much more during his video interview which you can see here.



Further to an announcement made in June, London Skolars are delighted to announce a partnership between its community department and Simply Air Conditioning. Simply Air Conditioning, a long time supporter of London Broncos have been impressed with Skolars’ off field work, working with local schools and children from across the capital.

“I’m impressed with what Matt Cuss and the team at Skolars have done in their local community, being from Bradford originally, I didn’t have to struggle to play rugby league as a child but it’s a bit harder down here in London. The community team have taken the sport to thousands of children and I’m proud that SAC can play a part in supporting that” Jonathan Lister, Owner of Simply Air Conditioning

Simply Air Conditioning join Ipreo and Jump In Enfield as a community partner. Skolars General Manager Jac Davies commented;

“It’s great that the work we do in the community is being recognised by those outside of the immediate sector within which we work and that we are able to attract commercial partners. What we’re doing is brilliant, teaching children about healthy eating and a balanced lifestyle as much as passing a ball and tackling. Jonathan and I have been in contact for some time, he’s a top bloke and a great fan of the game, we’re very pleased to have him as part of our Skolars family”

Further information regarding Simply Air Conditioning can be found via their website:


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