LEIGH Centurions in partnership with Leigh Community Trust have been accredited by the RFL as an England Rugby League Player Development Partner.
The England Rugby League Player Development Partner is a “kitemark” for professional clubs, community clubs and schools working in partnership with England Rugby League to develop the talent base for U12s to U14s.
Embed the Pathway aims to develop the talent base for U12s to U14s in the UK through a sustainable coaching programme, that uses education and training of junior coaches through a programme of Coach Education, Inclusive Player Profiling and 24 annual Player Development sessions.
Leigh Community Trust Manager Hannah Forbes said: “As part of the Trust and Club partnership, the Club was really proactive in wishing to be involved in Embed the Pathway. They feel strongly about the development of home-grown players which starts with the Youth, and the education and shared best practice of their junior coaches. The Trust was tasked with making this happen and we are pleased to confirm the accreditation is another successful joint initiative between the Club and the Trust.”
RFL National Player Development Manager Tony Fretwell and Development Officer Anthony Atherton visited the club this week and met with Leigh Centurions head coach Paul Rowley and his staff.
owley said: “It was good to see Tony and Anthony over at the ground and for them to both join us for lunch. We are delighted that we have achieved this accreditation as it shares the same vision and ethos that the coaching staff have been attempting to implement for over two years.
“We look forward to the Embed the Pathway initiative assisting us with developing the Youth of tomorrow. This is something I am very passionate about as I myself have come through the local amateur system, and started my professional career at Leigh. I then came back to finish my career at my hometown club and now pride myself as a head coach in giving opportunities and development to local players.”
Leigh Centurions first-team player Tom Spencer was delighted with the news of the partnership. He said: “Myself and all the lads are really looking forward to coaching the young talent in the area. On a personal note, I have really missed being involved in the community since leaving my full-time employment with Leigh Community Trust to take up a full-time playing contract at the end of last year. So I jumped at the chance to be involved in Embed the Pathway with the Club.”
Leigh Centurions head of rugby Derek Beaumont said: “It is a vital part of our Club to produce opportunities for the youngsters of our town and to provide a realistic pathway to playing professional rugby.
“The children are our future players, supporters, directors and sponsors and it is our job as responsible adults to enhance the opportunities for those children. We have a great backroom staff within our family Club and it is particularly pleasing to be able to embrace Leigh Community Trust into that family to further enhance our Club.
“As we aspire to Super League we are mindful that we will wish to implement junior set-ups and scholarships which Super League clubs are able to do and this is a positive step in that direction. I would like to thank Hannah for her hard work and dedication.”