Swinton Lions’ captain Andy Bracek is leaving the club at the end of the season.
The 31-year-old forward, who has played for the team since his move in May 2016, has seen his career flourish since joining the club.
Bracek revealed the news to the Swinton Lion’s fans on his Twitter account, saying:
“Had a great 2&1/2 years at Swinton Lions but the time has come to move onto the next thing. Just want to thank the fans that stuck by us through thick and thin and all the players and coaches I’ve had the honour of working with in my time at the Lions.”
In the 2017 season, Bracek was the only team member to play in all 33 competitive fixtures for the club, scoring five tries in those matches.
He also won the Players’ Player of the Year, Coaches’ Player of the Year and the Man of Steel trophy at the Lion’s End of season awards in 2017 and has played matches within the role of team captain.
Bracek is described by the club as one of their key players.
Had a great 2&1/2 years at @Swinton_Lions but the time has come to move onto the next thing. Just want to thank the fans that stuck by us through thick and thin and all the players and coaches I’ve had the honour of working with in my time at the Lions ✌?
— Andy Bracek (@AndyBracek) November 18, 2018
As a result, Swinton Lions had a more successful 2017 season, however this did not continue into 2018, despite them having won the championship six times in the past.
With Bracek’s former club, Halifax, finishing the 2018 season in 4th position, the Lions finished 11th.
They were 25 points off being within the top four clubs in the championship, and 33 points away from the 2018 champions Toronto Wolfpack. Bracek’s team have also been quick to give him their support with his move, as second-row Rhodri Lloyd tweeted saying, “Gutted mate, top bloke, real leader on and off the pitch. Going to miss you.”
Gutted mate, top bloke, real leader on and off the pitch. Going to miss you butt ???????????
— Rhodri Lloyd (@Rhodrilloyd93) November 18, 2018
Fans of the club and Bracek were quick to post their responses on Twitter, with many expressing how upset the news had made them feel and how much he will be missed as he has been an integral part of their last two seasons. The Lions recently revealed that players such as Hall, Hope, Ratu, Shelford, Jones and Bennion will all be extending their current contracts with the club. There is yet to be a response from Swinton Lions RLFC, and it is unknown yet as to where Bracek will continue his rugby league career, or who will take his place for the Lions.