Panthers pounce to put Blackpool back on map

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The Independent Online

Steve Molloy and Willie Swann will head Blackpool's ambitious recruitment when the new club's admission into National League Two is confirmed today.

The outfit, playing at Bloomfield Road and provisionally called the Panthers, will take over the place vacated by the Chorley Lynx, who folded at the end of last season when they lost their financial backing.

Blackpool will also inherit Chorley's coach, Mark Lee, and many of their players - but with some significant additions.

Molloy, player-coach at Oldham last season, will lead the pack whilst the New Zealander, Willie Swann, who helped Leigh win promotion to Super League this year, will be half-back.

Chris Hough, from Doncaster, has also signed while discussions with Chris Giles and Nicky Royle, who both played in Super League with Widnes last season, are ongoing.

The Panthers, Blackpool's first professional club for 12 years, have been included in the fixture list despite not having finalised agreements with Blackpool FC and the town's council.

Their first competitive game is at Oldham in the Northern Rail Cup on 13 February, with their home debut against Swinton a week later.