Newsome Panthers want to fly the flag for Huddersfield in their first ever game in the RL Challenge Cup – but they need a little help from their friends.

After winning the Yorkshire Men’s League Premier Division Grand Final and the Yorkshire Cup in 2023, the Panthers were invited to take part in the Betfred Challenge Cup for the first time.

The club has been drawn away at London-based Wests Warriors which means an exciting – but expensive – away day to the capital including an overnight stay the night before.

Now the Panthers have launched a crowdfunder and are urging supporters and sponsors to donate towards a £1,500 target.

The game takes place on Saturday January 13 and there’s a big incentive for the winners – a home tie against Rochdale Mayfield, which could prove to be a money-spinner for the club.

Head coach Ritchie Hawkyard, who has played in the Challenge Cup before for the likes of Keighley, Oldham and Swinton, said: “It’s a great opportunity for a club like Newsome to make it into the Challenge Cup, one of the most prestigious competitions in the world.

“In our leagues the away games are usually around Yorkshire so we don’t get many big bus trips and we intend to make an occasion of it.”

Ritchie is already doing his homework on Wests who he says have several “back-packing” players from Australia and New Zealand.

“They are a decent team and every team in the first round has earned the right to be there, like we have,” he said.

“We know if we win we’ll have Rochdale at home and this could be massive for the club. It’s an opportunity to charge people to come and watch and make a bit of money.”

The Panthers are at the heart of their local community and have raised thousands of pounds for charity over the years.

The club – dubbed ‘the Invincibles’ last year after a clean sweep of trophies – plays out of the Fountain pub in Newsome but has long-term ambitions to build a clubhouse.

Ritchie said: “We hope people will help us with the costs of the trip to London and see if we can get through to the next round.

“If we could progress even further we might get a Halifax or a Bradford Bulls at home and that would be fantastic.

“It could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some of the lads to make a name for themselves on the big stage and really put Newsome on the map.”

Donate to the GoFundMe page HERE

Panthers have their 2024 Players Meeting at Newsome FC on Monday December 18 (6.30pm) and players old and new are welcome.