In the Off Season Phil Finney announced the scrapping of the Club Academy and Scholarship. Prior to this we had upwards of Eighty Players training at the Club. Phil explained his reasoning for this clearly in an extended interview with Flash. Phil had spent upwards of a decade working on the Academy and Scholarship and we must accept and I do accept that this decision must have been heart breaking. Both for him and the likes of Roger Harrison who has spent even longer working on the Club’s Development Squad for younger players. Prior to this the Club had a vision to develop 20 players to play 20 games in the first team by 2020. It was all laid out and very clearly explained. It was an established well thought out plan that everyone in the systems at the Club was working towards.
What Phil did not do was explain what his vision was going forward.
Of the present squad of 16 have been involved in our youth system. 12 are under 23 and are recent / immediate graduates of the Academy / Scholarship. This pathway has now stopped the Academy has been scrapped no more players will come through this pathway.
To this we have 6 north west based players over 30 all signed recently.
We have only 8 players between 23 and 30, I would argue this is the prime age for a Rugby League Player. Of these 8 (excluding Adam Lawton who was lost to the game for a while) only Jack Owens and Danny Craven were in our youth system. The rest have been signed recently 3 ( and fair play to them) have being playing amateur not so long ago.
What does the Club stand for and where given we have no Academy does the Club intend to get its players from now and in the future (I would like the statement on this matter ). What is the Clubs Vision going forwards.