but an u18 academy is not the sole reference for a sl franchise as a stadium is not the sole reference.. it is part of a greater whole.. if Leigh dont believe they need an academy becuase the amateur youth sorts it all out then that is absolutely fine its 1 point.. there are 9 others to aim for.. you ony need aabout 5 to be up towards the top of the tree for a liscence.. but the other bits need to be good. its horses for courses..
Not sure if Leigh still have an academy but they did have one for a long time. Nevertheless not all young lads in Leigh want to play in the academy, BECAUSE the set-up at the amatuer clubs in Leigh are superb. Leigh RLFC are working with those amateur clubs now, but the pro club won't be able to "claim" these youngsters as part of franchising even if they are born and bred in Leigh and Leigh RLFC have played a part in the schools set up etc
On the other hand moneybags Wire could come in, snare a good young Leyther up from Leigh Miners with ££££ and stick him in their academy. That guy will then be deemed to be a Wire youngster - what a load of ##### guff
I don't like the concept of academies below a certain age, say under 20/21, because they are dear to run and also perhaps detract from the enjoyment of amateur set-ups.