LEFT with just half a senior squad, no mini or junior club players and virtually no members back in 2012/13, the future looked bleak for Keresley RFC.
In fact, 10 older players came out of retirement to ensure the club could continue to play league rugby even if that meant playing with a couple of players short in some matches.
However, the end of the 2012/13 campaign proved to be a turning point in the club’s history.
At the following annual general meeting (AGM), a new group of committee members helped to facilitate a club rebuild alongside existing board associates.
Such was the success of the rebuild, Keresley began the 2013/14 campaign with 20 senior players and five mini/junior members with a 15-strong volunteer group supporting the club.
Bit by bit, and piece by piece, the Burrow Hill Lane club started to take shape again.
However, with income severely limited, Keresley reached out to the local area in search of sponsors and donations to allow the club to continue to operate and pay the bills.
On the pitch, the senior squad achieved promotion while the club’s netball team began playing again as membership started to grow.
Keresley also began to hold bigger community events such as family fun days in the summer and fireworks nights later in the year.
These events brought in vital revenue as the club combated rising costs.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic could not have a come at a worse time for Keresley.
With the rebuild in full swing, the club were forced to close their doors and wait, putting Keresley’s future at risk once again.
Behind the scenes, the committee worked tirelessly to ensure the club could open its doors as soon as restrictions were lifted and offered free membership to all children playing at Keresley.
Despite missing out on valuable revenue, the club saw a huge uptake in their mini and junior section.
Keresley also decided to support Nuneaton Lacrosse and Colliery Bowls Club, in order to continue their growth within the local community, with the latter team kicked off their green.
The club’s senior squad, who play in the Counties 4 Midlands West (South) division, now has just under 50 members while Keresley have also regularly fielded a second team this season and boast 35 coaches.
Keresley also have 48 former players signed up as well as a Colts (under-17) side for the first time in 15 years.
The club have 29 under-15 players, 24 under-13 players, 18 under-11 players, 15 under-10 players, 19 under-nine players and 12 under-eight players as well as some brilliant younger players in the age groups below.
Keresley also operate a girls tag rugby team who compete in local competitions.
The club have 18 main committee members, with 15 on the mini and junior committee, and have a group of dedicated retired members called ‘Dad’s Army’ who make repairs at the club when needed.
It’s safe to say, the future looks bright for Keresley.