WEST Bowling head coach Ryan Hunkin is hoping that his side will still get the chance to compete for a cup this season, after their dreams of a second successive promotion were dashed.

The National Conference League have announced that their season has been suspended for 2020, with no promotion or relegation, and will instead be replaced by a series of regionalised group fixtures.

Bowling had won one of their opening two Division One games. Hunkin felt they were already getting used to the step up and that they would have been "there or thereabouts" in the fight to go up come the end of the season.

But he understands why the league have come to this decision, saying: "I think it had to be made. There doesn't seem to be any indication of when the pro game will restart, never mind the amateur one.

"These regional fixtures should offset any expenditure on things like coaches (to games) too.

"It would be good to play for something though. I would like a regional cup competition included, just so we have something to play for other than pride."

The NCL are hopeful that these regional derbies will bring in good revenue for clubs, with fears over the financial future of rugby league as a whole due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But asked whether fans would even be allowed to attend games in a few months' time, Hunkin said: "I'm not sure how it will pan out.

"You can get a bit of a crowd amateur-wise, and going off the West Bowling and (Bradford) Dudley Hill games (in Division Two) last year, they were both very well supported.

"Could we limit that, or do we even want to limit that, income-wise? I don't know.

"But we're not talking about a crowd in the thousands, you'd be looking at more like 300 or 400."

Those crowds could soon be at Horsfall rather than Emsley's Rec, with Bowling hoping to make the switch to Bradford (Park Avenue)'s ground within the next 12 months.

Speaking about the proposed move, Hunkin said: "It's not confirmed, as there's still some major funding needed.

"We have a fantastic pitch down at Emsley's Rec. The council have invested well in things like drainage and seeding, but we've not been able to secure the Community Asset Transfer to develop the clubhouse.

"One thing that a move to Horsfall would do is bring the club together, ourselves, the juniors and the open age teams. We've had our juniors down in Clayton and some teams at Emsley.

"Not many amateur teams get to play at a stadium, like Horsfall, and it could help us become a strong club.

"We want more people to be part of the club, and to increase the number of age groups, which we might never have got (if we were staying at Emsley).

"It's a potentially massive move and one that could be good for Bradford as a whole.

"It (Horsfall) could almost become a rugby league hub of the North."