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audois

Catalan Academy U19s

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May soon see the light of day. Since Trent Robinson's time in Perpignan the Dragons have been looking how this project can be progressed. The Federation did have a first stab at it I think in 2010 when they put out a French U20s side and played around 4/5 games against the likes of Wigan and Wire.

 

In February they hosted both Leeds & Wigan U19s in a triangular tournament too. The club owner Guasch came back from Manchester raving about Wigan's performance with so many youngsters in their win against Leeds. They are looking at a programme developing youngsters from 16-22 yrs over the next five years and say they are in the process of making an appointment of a specialist to take the project forward.

 

Of course down here we have the Federation set-ups at Toulouse, Carcassonne & Salon which have been in operation for 20 years or more and a Dragons Academy would have to accommodate this. They have to though I think move to a stage further. These existing schemes have produced lads to move into Elite level football here but professional status needs something more. Recent results indicate against English sides there are lads of the required level over here. But one off Tests are not enough; a Catalan Academy side playing across the Channel more regularly has to be the goal. In the local paper the news was that discussions appear to be underway with the RFL to examine these possibilities.

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Needs to be done if we are going to get more of these talented French youngsters through. If they are at a similar level to the English lads at sixteen and eighteen then they need to concentrate on the transition to pro level as there are so few who seem to continue on that path under the current set-up.

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Audois , if they are starting a project at age 16-22 then it is wasted time and money.Seeing RL in France at a junior level on many occasions it needs root and branch overhaul as the standard of coaching from u-10 onwards is not at the same level as the UK or Australia.

 

There is a genuine love of the game and seeing all the kids playing at festivals in Carcassonne show great enthusiasm but the coaches still hark back to a French style of play that was fantastic to watch before defence was as organised as now and the core skills are not at the same level and if they don't get it right at this age group then you can't get the radical improvement so the French game is crying out for.

 

A good example is the hooker for Catalan who is a penalty machine at the ruck where he messes about as well as trying to strip the ball at every oportunity.Because this is the norm in French league and is tolerated by coaches and ref's alike from an early age , that is embedded within him and he now has to re-educate himself not to be untidy at the ruck.David Waite is probably spending a lot of time with him trying to undo poor coaching and if he can't fix it then he will cease to be used by Catalan coaches.

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Superleague need a under 20s comp this is why nz has developed so many talented world class players in nrl.

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Superleague need a under 20s comp this is why nz has developed so many talented world class players in nrl.

Exactly, NZ warriors produce so much talent that every year they have to prioritize which players to keep and offer professional contracts to as other NRL teams come sniffing about also offering big contracts. The u20's comp is also shown live or delayed in both Australia and NZ giving these kids national profile, it's a fantastic competition. Catalans u19's is an absolute must for both the Catalans and France, these kids that match it with England and even the Aussies need a higher level of completion and intensity which is sadly lacking in the French junior league.

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I wonder if this is to link in with the way that Catalans now travel to away games? They travel on a chartered flight which means that they could also, presumably, carry an academy team with them on their travels.

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I wonder if this is to link in with the way that Catalans now travel to away games? They travel on a chartered flight which means that they could also, presumably, carry an academy team with them on their travels.

That would make a lot of sense and I would presume that's what the NZ warriors do when travelling to Australia, 1st grade team, u20's and the vulcans(nsw team).

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Announced here that there will be a press conference Wednesday to unveil their plans. States that the bloke at the French Federation Thierry Dumaine who was in charge of the France Academy who played England last week will take a leading role Sounds encouraging.Fingers crossed.

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Superleague need a under 20s comp this is why nz has developed so many talented world class players in nrl.

 

I don't think it should just be Super League, all professional & semi professional clubs should have a youth structure feeding in with the local amateur clubs.

 

Personally, I believe a lot more money should be pumped in at grass roots level to encourage kids, have better facilities and coaching. 

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Announced here that there will be a press conference Wednesday to unveil their plans. States that the bloke at the French Federation Thierry Dumaine who was in charge of the France Academy who played England last week will take a leading role Sounds encouraging.Fingers crossed.

My fingers will also be crossed, can't believe all of this sane and positive news this season both with potentially the Catalans u19's and the png hunters in the Queensland cup. Creating Pathways for both young and raw players with potential is the way forward, just think where we'd be if this was done years ago for both France and png but better late than never.

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I don't think it should just be Super League, all professional & semi professional clubs should have a youth structure feeding in with the local amateur clubs.

Personally, I believe a lot more money should be pumped in at grass roots level to encourage kids, have better facilities and coaching.

The problem is all the academies are killing off the community game, primarily at youth level.

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Bowes, I don't know as much as I would like about the community game.

 

However, why the heck aren't all clubs working together? The community game is vitally important to the future of our game. 

 

How are the academies killing the community game? Is it down to the no. of participants left?

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There are not many as it is, the proposed new structure says up to 33% of the current under 14s will be needed to feed the academy, the RFL say there are about 2.5k playing at that age, you then have a drop off of 55% of the 15/16 to 17/18, only 2.5% play regular Super League yet the community game suffers massively.

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Thanks, appreciate your response. 

 

What is the solution to all of this then? How can the community grow? 

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Not sure really there is a culmination of things

: But mostly the commitment does not appear there by the players and across the board, this can be said of other sports and pass times

: In my view summer believe it or not has not helped as there are as many postponements but for other reasons and a lot more distractions, the RFL thought the switch would be the saviour as the Traditional season was in decline this has not been the case

: Possible apathy shown by the RFL and BARLA when the game was on the increase

: The stronger clubs strip the weaker clubs they then fold, the academy's strip the stronger clubs they then fold

: The reduction in funding by the RFL creating a decrease in development officers has not helped

: A decrease in activity by the Pro clubs in schools

: I heard the RFL had a meeting with the women's Netball association to see if they can learn anything, and on the radio today an American based over here for promoting Basketball says this sport is now second behind Football in schools participation, what are they doing right?

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According to Catalans facebook page, this is currently being officially launched for 2015 in a press conference.

 

Edit: http://www.catalansdragons.com/articles-9/90-2832-lancement-de-lequipe-academy-u19/

 

Apparently something they've been working towards for years, it is an indispensable part of their plan to have a majority French team. Thierry Dumaine will be in heading it up, who thinks it has been the missing link in the progression of French talent. Players will have the chance to continue their studies and those from afar will be able to live with host families. Probably, my French isn't great ;).

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Confirmed at the press conference yesterday. Catalans Academy U19s will play across the Channel from February 2015. Two weeks time they will start to assemble the group - expected to be 35 in number aged 17-19 yrs. Training to commence debut of October. Thierry Dumaine who is presently in charge of the French national teams U16s-U18s at the French Federation will head the project for next three years. Team will travel over with the Dragons side and play as curtain raisers to SL games. Pic here lft-rt Thierry Dumaine, CEO Christophe Jouffret, Laurent Frayssinous, Gerald Callis St Esteve and Bruno Castany, Head of Formation at the Dragons. With a bit of luck could have three professional sides playing across the Channel by 2016 if  Toulouse Olymique also get the go ahead. Vive le treize!.

datPhoto1_53860ebad6098__zps1d34ed82.jpg

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As Dumaine says they tried it under the Federation banner four years ago but at the time the Dragons unable to respond. The club stronger now and with extra Sky monies can make the club stronger yet again. Mick Potter was of the opinion that French players developed more slowly than elsewhere. I can’t remember any Catalan player debuting at say 17-18 years which happens across the Channel.

 

Hot housing the talent they’ve got I would have thought a must. Some Elite clubs have already sounded the alarm but the same like Avignon lose players already; Garcia took himself to Australia and Jouffret to Warrington. Fages and Ferret to Salford. Dumaine hopefully will be the key here linking the local clubs and Federation to the project. Steve Deakin and Australian Craig West coaches respectively at St Esteve Elite and Juniors possibly not considered to give balance and inclusivity.

 

The game needs more youngsters to get more cream for sure and Dumaine will be well aware of that. He is well acquainted with the existing Federation set-ups (‘Poles’) at Toulouse, Carcassonne & Salon and well placed to make the necessary adaptations. It will need to be monitored closely.

 

But players will only have two years or so at most in this set up before moving on. A lot will tumble back to their original clubs as has happened to the Dragons since day one. The other thing too is this set up has the potential to draw in better athletes across the board some of whom wouldn’t be at existing clubs or even playing the game.

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It'll also give more of an opportunity for English academies to get a look at these French kids if they'll be playing them week-in, week-out.

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It'll also give more of an opportunity for English academies to get a look at these French kids if they'll be playing them week-in, week-out.

 

I think this just raises the profile of the game here. The international aspect too gives it some extra substance for an U19 comp. I'm just all for extending the contacts across the Channel to push the French game forward. The existing systems have recently delivered the likes of Escare, Pelissier & Bousquet and the new team should just accelerate that. The arrival of another decent (hopefully!) Academy raises the bar for everyone. Getting this side up for 2015 should shoulder Toulouse's aspirations too.

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Today in Perpignan 85 prospective candidates turned up including twenty or so from rugby union backgrounds. Fifty from the Catalan region & others from further a field. Sounds encouraging.

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Catalan have announced the names of their 35 player Academy squad for 2015. 24 are from the Catalan area including five from rugby union including a quartet from USAP and one each from Albi, Avignon,Carpentras,St Gaudens and Villeneuve-sur-Lot. It seems that the Dragons have abided by the Federations decision to restrict their recruitment to one per elite club although there are half a dozen from the three Aude clubs Carcassonne, Lezignan & Limoux. There are only 5 players who played for French U18s recently against the England Academy side. The group reassemble this week for initial training session before being presented to the crowd at the Wigan match Saturday night. There will be some fine tuning before the final 25 man group is established before pre-season starts in September.

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I wonder if this is to link in with the way that Catalans now travel to away games? They travel on a chartered flight which means that they could also, presumably, carry an academy team with them on their travels.

 

Would this not potentially be problematic for schooling? What age is schooling mandatory til in France? If it's under 19s academies and you are in school until 18, could that not cause problems?

 

There are not many as it is, the proposed new structure says up to 33% of the current under 14s will be needed to feed the academy, the RFL say there are about 2.5k playing at that age, you then have a drop off of 55% of the 15/16 to 17/18, only 2.5% play regular Super League yet the community game suffers massively.

 

Is there no opportunity for 'dual reg' in the age groups. Not so strict as in open age, but more like if you are lucky/good enough you get to go and train with the academy. Then they pick the academy team during the week. If you haven't been picked in the 17 (or lets say travelling 20) then you play for your home club on Sunday (or whenever youths play).

 

Or have I missed something? I am assuming here that each academy draws its players from a reasonable number of community clubs, and so might be taking four or five (per age group?) from each of the better ones of those, and maybe none from the less good ones...

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There are no community clubs, lezignan is lezignan and carcassonne is carcassonne, so in the junior set up there's a team for each elite 1 club,

When they leave the junior set up they may go to local clubs in lower divisions, of course albi and teams like this have junior set ups but its one team towns,

I've heard from a member of the languedoc committee that the players who play for the academy that are already signed by st esteve/xiii catalan will be able to play for st esteve if not selected for the academy game but the academy players say from carcassonne won't be allowed to platy for carcassonne or st esteve, so if not selected in the academy team for the weekend they won't play at all,

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