EXCITEMENT is mounting as Halifax RLFC prepare for their Carnegie Challenge Cup clash against Super League club Bradford Bulls.
The game will be the biggest the Shay has seen this millenium and Fax are seizing the chance to show they are worthy of playing at the top level.
“This game will be huge in every area,” said Matt Turner, of the club.
“We have one of the best new stands in Rugby League, a squad with a 2010 Champions medal, supporters eager for a derby win, and an overall structure capable of hosting this type of fixture week in, week out.”
Fax missed out on a Super League franchise to Widnes last month but still hope for promotion when the rest of the licences are awarded in July.
“We have a second chance to make it right though, so we are looking on the positive side of things,” said Mr Turner.
“This fixture could not have come at a better time and it’s a great opportunity to show the RFL what we’re capable of.”
The derby will see the two teams meet competitively for the first time since Fax were relegated at the end of the 2003 season.
The game is expected to draw huge crowds to the Shay, where the safety team has increased the capacity to 9,000. Business leaders hope it will boost the town’s economy both on the day and in the future – especially if the club is promoted.
Steven Leigh, head of policy at the Mid-Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The bigger the match, the more likely people will be to come and use the town’s facilities, like pubs and restaurants, and generally revitalise Halifax because of the additional footfall.
“The Shay is a really great venue and the more people we can get to come and see the town the better, even if they are just coming for the day.
“There’s a lot to see and do in the town and Calderdale is a beautiful area, so hopefully it will encourage people to come back again, maybe with their wives and kids, to enjoy it.”