SAM Naylor believes the time is right for a merged ‘Northwich Park’ super club.

The Northwich RUFC player-coach is letting his personal viewpoint be known just days after confirmation of his club’s promotion to national league-level rugby.

Discussions between club officials have taken place before, the most recent being only four months ago, but moves have gone no further.

Northwich lifelong member Naylor said: “I feel there’s an opportunity now more than ever for both clubs to join and benefit from each other.

“Northwich RUFC and Winnington Park currently have lots to brag about.

“Northwich have a growing junior section and three senior teams, of which their first XV have just gained promotion into the National Leagues for the first time in its history.

READ: How the Northwich RUFC chief executive Martin Poste has responded

“Winnington also field three senior teams, they have a well-oiled junior section and operate a great facility at the bottom of Burrows hill.

“The only thing that separates the two clubs is a fence down at Moss Farm Leisure complex.

“In fact, the members at Winnington can view the Northwich games from their new balcony, which they regularly like to remind us about.

“I’ve been a member of Northwich RUFC all my life and have been playing for our first XV for 13 seasons now.

“Along the way I’ve been captain and have had the role of player-coach for the past seven years. I’ve also got on board with the junior section lately and enjoy coaching each Sunday morning.

“If you cut me open, I would bleed black and gold!

“For this reason there’ll be a lot out there that would question my loyalty to Northwich when suggesting a merger, but I’m trying to look beyond the rivalry, which is something that’s bred into you from a young age on both sides of the fence.

“I’ve gone into battle with Park on a number of occasions and the contests have always been hard fought.

“More recently, the gap between the two senior teams has extended, with Northwich gaining promotion into the National Leagues and Winnington just managing to avoid relegation two leagues below.

“Rather than wanting to gloat about our recent achievements, I actually want to seize an opportunity that to me would be silly to miss out on.

“I believe now, more than ever before, both clubs and the town could really benefit from a merger.

“I feel that Northwich is reaching the peak of the level it can get to, and if Northwich or our rivals were to ever reach greater heights and cement themselves in the National Leagues we must join together to create one ‘super-club’ in the town.

“A merger would also give Winnington players a chance to perform at a higher standard as well as giving their supporters a bit more to cheer about from the sidelines.

“On top of this, with one club in the town, students from all schools in Northwich would feed into one club, increasing competition and allowing players to regularly compete against the strongest clubs in the county.

“Other benefits of creating a ‘Northwich Park’ dynasty include increased facilities, more members, more coaches, more volunteers, more players, more talent, more numbers at training, increased competition, more joined up thinking and ultimately more success, on and off the field and at junior and senior level.

“Any decision to merge should be solely about what is the best for the future of rugby in the town.

“There has been talk and a few discussions surrounding the sensibility of a ‘one town one club’ strategy for some time now, but with Moss Farm looking at a £3 million cash injection and the current circumstances of both clubs, the prospect of creating a ‘Northwich Park’ super-club presents the committees and members of both clubs with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”