The Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are delighted to announce that Academy player Sam Doherty has been called into the 21 man England Academy Squad.
The 17 year old has become the first young player, that has come through the Wildcats Youth System, to be selected for the Australian Institute of Sport UK Tour Test Match squad that will play at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday 4th December 2011.
Sam plays at centre or on the wing and signed for The Wildcats last year. Before joining Wakefield, he played at amateur club Oulton Raiders until he was 12 and then moved to Hunslet Warriors until the age of 16, at which point he came to The Wildcats and signed his Academy contract.
Sam will join the other elite young players on Wednesday 30th November for his first taste of Representative International Rugby League when he will go into camp for the 5 days leading up to the big game. Joining Doherty are five players from St Helens, four from Bradford Bulls, three from Warrington Wolves, two from Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors and one from Widnes Vikings, Hull FC, Harlequins RL and Huddersfield Giants respectively.
Head of Youth Performance Tony Drury is delighted with Sam’s selection, “This is massive news for the club and I’m very pleased for Sam, it’s a very well deserved call up.”
“He has come through our youth system here at the club and this recognition is proof that the programme is working. I would like to wish Sam all the very best and I hope this is the first of many representative honours for our young players.”
Sam added, “I am really happy to have been selected for the squad. I honestly put the call up down to my time here at The Wildcats, I have learnt so much and really come on in the past 12 months.”
“I am very grateful for the opportunity and I can’t wait to get into camp and get prepared for the big game!”
“Sam is an exciting new talent,” added England Academy coach Dave Elliott. “He’s come in from left field as he wasn’t really on our radar for long, but I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen of him so far.”
“He’s got great passion and enthusiasm for the game and I feel like he can bring a lot to the squad. He’s very athletic and I’m looking forward to see how he gets on when the squad comes together.”
“We’re all looking forward to what lies in store and the players themselves are excited about the test. It’s a different challenge for us. We played against France in the summer but this will be a different type of test and we’ll be going up against a team, which I’m sure will have lots of quality.”
“We had some good experiences against France when we played them and to cap the year off with a win against the AIS is something the lads would all like to do. They all want to finish the season on a high and this game is a great opportunity to do that.”
“But this is also a great test for the players. This game offers the guys a great opportunity to prove themselves at this level and gives us, as coaches, an opportunity to see how they have developed through the season.”
Well done Sam and good luck to the all the England Academy squad!
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.