Wolves Academys Middleman
Warrington Wolves' u19s Academy makes rare signing from the Midlands bringing in Joe Furlong.
Joe has been training with the club for over a year as part of the Wolves' Scholarship, sponsored by Warrington Collegiate. He made the switch from his home town club at Telford to playing his club rugby at Crosfields ARLFC to experience playing in the North West Counties Premier League.
It was a move that paid off with a great improvement in his performances.
Danny Fullerton coached Joe at u16 level saying: "Over the last year or so, Joe's development has been exceptional, he was relatively new to the game and on that basis he has excelled. His training commitment has been second to none and if he continues with the same effort, commitment and learning, he will make a very good half back."
The half-back has had to work hard for his opportunity, to keep his place and earn his contract having played the game for less than four years. He initially got into the RFL Midlands development squad, learning skills, technique and playing in cross regional games when he was then identified by the Wolves' coaches during a Warrington coaching session involving players from the Midlands.
Joe is delighted to have been given a contract at Warrington. "It's a great honour to have been picked for the u19s and get a contract as it's what I've been aiming for my whole life and I'm just hoping to kick on from here. It's been inspiring to train alongside the first team at their facilities as that's what you want to achieve in the end, that first team contract."
Ben Lazenby, Wolves' player performance manager, added: "Joe has managed to balance his training and the travelling associated with it around his school work and has achieved fantastic results in his GCSE exams with 2 A*, 11 A and 3 B grades. We have seen significant improvement on the pitch as well with Joe and if he continues to enjoy his rugby and keep his enthusiasm going he will make a very tidy player.
"His achievement off the pitch is exceptional and it is important that all players work hard to achieve a steady grounding in life as well as achieve all they can in rugby league, whether that is academic achievement or vocational experience, that is up to the player and his family to decide upon and as a club we will support each individual to realise their potential both on and off the pitch."
"Joe's a really talented lad and is probably able to play in one of three positions: either halfback positions or hooker, and we may look at him somewhere in that area" commented Peter Farrell, head of talent ID. "His strength is that he is very skilful and flight of foot and he's got a great kicking game. He's also a great thinker of the game and since he's joined us his attitude has been first-class, having travelled a long way to get here he's got a lot of respect from his fellow players. I think he's a player who'll go from strength to strength."
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29, Nov, 2012