The Wildcats have secured some of the country’s most exciting young talents to be part of the under 19′s Academy squad in 2014.
Max Jowitt, Jordan Crowther and Kieran Holt have all represented England and are three of a dozen members of the Wildcats unbeaten under 16’s Scholarship squad to sign two-year professional deals.
In addition to retaining a talented crop of players to come through the clubs own Scholarship programme, Trinity have attracted three further England internationals from rival clubs.
Prop Frazer Morris joins from Huddersfield Giants whilst Danny Douglas (prop) and Jacob Ware (outside back) have both signed having previously been on the Leeds Rhinos Scholarship programme.
It’s not only England who have representation in the squad, with Scotland international Corbyn Kilday one of nine of the 2013 under 19’s squad to be retained while Scott Lee, who joined on loan from Leeds Rhinos last season, has made a permanent move to the club.
The new season will also be the first in which the vast majority of the Wildcats Academy to come up from the Scholarship ranks are full-time at the club, studying as Apprentices on the ‘Advanced Apprenticeship in sporting Excellence’ (AASE) which includes a BTEC Level 3 qualification in Sport.
They will study for this alongside their training commitments, providing an accelerated development to their rugby skill set whilst also giving them a qualification the equivalent to three A Levels should a career in the sport not come to fruition.
The two-year course will see the youngsters spend 30 hours a week at the club, 12 hours of which will be spent studying core BTEC modules including Anatomy & Physiology, Nutrition and Coaching. Four hours a week will be spent in tutorials whilst the remaining hours will be devoted to developing their rugby talents.
Trinity are one of only three clubs to offer the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (Pathway One) and Wildcats Youth Development Manager, Ryan Hudson, believes it is a significant step towards the club producing more of its own local talent for the first team.
“This is a really exciting announcement on a lot of different levels,” said Hudson.
“We’ve retained some highly sought after youngsters who went the season unbeaten, attracted England internationals from other clubs and to be able to offer them full-time training alongside an education is going to be invaluable for their development as both rugby players and young men.
“Their skill set will improve considerably training full-time; they’ll go from boys to men physically in the space of a year and whatever happens after two years, they will have a qualification that will provide them with great opportunities should rugby league not be able to provide it for them for whatever reason.
“We probably have to work a bit harder than some of the very top clubs to attract youngsters but I think the quality of what we can offer speaks for itself in terms of the talent we’ve got in the under 19’s squad for 2014.”
The course is accredited by both the Rugby Football League and Loughborough College with Wildcats Director of Education, Mark Winder, hopeful that the club will soon be able to offer a higher education qualification for the older players in the Academy squad.
“A lot of hard work has gone into making this happen and we’re really excited for what it means we can offer as a club to young players. Subject to validation, we are offering a Foundation Degree in Rugby League Management to the older end of the squad in association with Backstage Academy.
“There’s a lot of competition within this area in particular to attract players to the club and we feel that what we are now able to offer gives us a better chance than ever to bring in some of the most promising young players to the Wildcats.”
Wildcats under 19’s Academy Squad
|Jack||ANDERSON||Shaw Cross Sharks|
|Declan||BRERETON||Shaw Cross Sharks|
|Brandon||CONWAY||Shaw Cross Sharks|
|Tom||GRIFFITHS||Shaw Cross Sharks|
|Scott||LEE||Shaw Cross Sharks|
|Luke||POWELL||Shaw Cross Sharks|
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