The AMNRL has announced yet further expansion with the formation of a new team in the Northeast.
The Fairfield County Crocs will join the expanding Atlantic Conference for the upcoming 2012 season.
Led by former USA Tomahawks Ben Kelly and Damien O’Malveney, the Crocs will add to the excitement of this years’ competition by bringing back to the American National Rugby League a number key personnel who have been integral members of the league for many years.
“The addition of the Crocs is great news for the AMNRL and supports our core mission of developing Rugby League in America!” said AMNRL President David Niu.
“Having Ben and Damien at the helm of a strong club in the Fairfield/New Haven, CT area, will go a long way towards helping strengthen our brand in this part of the country.”
Club founder Ben Kelly is extremely excited about his return the AMNRL, and is committed to building a strong team his first year in the competition.
“We are going to run a highly professional and disciplined organization with our objective being to build a powerhouse team within the American National Rugby League!” he said.
Damien O’Malveney, who will serve as the club’s first captain, is equally passionate about the prospects for the Crocs and will be hands on in the recruitment of a “highly regarded player/coach” in addition to “top rated domestic and foreign based players from around the world!”
The club has also signed some star recruits in Akarika Dawn, Keiki Misipeka, Kia Misipeka and Wes Haughton.
Like Kelly and O’Malveney, Dawn and Haughton are rejoining the AMNRL fold after leaving clubs that were part of a breakaway competition in 2011, while the Misipeka brothers are union converts who have been playing in the USA Rugby Super League.
''These four players have been handpicked by Percy and myself for the Crocs' entry into the 2012 AMNRL season,” added Kelly. “We have targeted big, mobile, fit humans that will gel well with our intended style of play.''
The addition of the Fairfield Crocs will grow the Atlantic Conference to an eight-team competition.
The Crocs join the reigning champs New York Knights along with Connecticut Wildcats, Aston Bulls, Bucks County Sharks, Northern Raiders and other new teams Atlanta Legion and NOVA Eagles.