Warrington celebrate junior elite
Warrington and Cheshire Rugby League Development, in association with Warrington Wolves performance department, recently launched the 2013 elite player development camps.
The evening was hosted at The Halliwell Jones Stadium and all those selected to take part in the camps were presented with their training kit, sponsored by Matrix Networks, by local first-grade players Tyrone McCarthy, Gareth O'Brien and Rhys Williams.
Presentations were given by members of the Wolves' performance and community staff to provide an insight into how the introduction of these camps will feed back into the amateur game within schools and clubs. They will highlight key areas to work on in order to continue the ongoing development of the game in the local area, and the progression from grassroots to the professional game.
The camps, to involve over 100 children at ages under-11, under-12, under-13, under-14 and, under-15 and 16, focus on developing the skills and Rugby League knowledge of players selected from across the Warrington and Cheshire district. Each player selected will train for a ten-week programme, learning and practising a range of skills.
The players who have been selected come from a wide spread of community clubs which further reinforces the great work that is being done by the Wolves' community team, as well as the volunteers and coaches throughout the area.
The trials for the camps saw over 200 young players attend, and the Warrington Wolves staff were very impressed by the standard of skills that were on display by all participants and it is clear to see that the game of Rugby League is becoming stronger in the Warrington and Cheshire area. Spaces have been kept open at all age groups so that players from Warrington and Cheshire can be added to the training camps after being watched by the Talent I.D. team.
Player performance manager Ben Lazenby said: "I have been impressed with the quality of players since the trials and to see so many starting their journey on the player pathway is superb. The launch was a great event and represents the hard work that has been put in by Lee Westwood, Danny Fullerton and Brian Chambers. There have been significant funding cuts and we have also lost Alan Kilshaw from the role of rugby league development manager so for these training camps to continue to run shows great commitment from the Warrington and Cheshire development board as well as the desire from staff to see the development of junior players continue."
Danny Fullerton, community sports coach, was delighted at the way the evening went and the quality of players who have been identified. "It has been a real team effort to ensure that these camps happen this year. After losing Alan, Lee (Westwood), Brian (Chambers), Ben (Lazenby) and I set out to make sure the talent ID and camps happened, and have worked tirelessly to get this far, for both the game in Warrington and Cheshire and also in helping individual players progress up to the professional club. All of the players deserve their selection and it stands as a reward for all of the hard work that they have done, alongside the time their coaches have put in as well as their parents. We are committed to ensuring that the elite player development camps continue to grow and get better and better year on year."
Leader of the council Clr Terry O'Neill added: "On the night it was great to see the enthusiasm and commitment from these young people and their families. Rugby League is a wonderful game and is the lifeblood of our town. It gives young people confidence and teaches them discipline and collective responsibility. These elite camps will help them to become good citizens as well as good players."
(Photo: Hundreds gathered for the presentation evening)
17, Apr, 2013