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Honor James

Super League Academies grow in strength

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First Utility Super League club Academies are performing at an all-time high, results published in the annual Academy Accreditation assessments for 2014 show.  The independent assessments, which are now in their fourth year of operation, show another healthy increase in the quality of the player supply for both the Super League and England programmes at all levels.

 

Since 2007, club Academies have produced seven full England international players and 31 England Knights players.  In that time, 205 players have progressed from club Academies to make their Super League debut, with 33 percent of these having already made more than 30 appearance in the sport’s elite competition.

 

RFL National Player Development Manager Paul Medley said:  “We are happy with the results of the Academy assessments as they demonstrate a continuing improvement over a significant period.  The Academies are judged by an independent panel who take into account a number of factors throughout the assessment process, ranging from the improvements in facilities and systems to the strategy and vision of individual Academies.

 

“Player welfare and educational options open to young players are also looked at – 320 young players now have a qualification in the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence, for example.  We are growing a strong foundation for the future of our sport, things are moving in a positive direction and we are very pleased with the improvements made on last year’s assessments.

 

“Clubs are putting a strong focus on developing young talent through their own ranks, and this has led to Super League developing some of the best facilities in the world.  To have 38 players since 2007 going on to earn international honours is a fantastic achievement: there is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes that not many people know about.

 

“I would like to congratulate all clubs and their hard working staff for their efforts, which sometimes go unrecognised.”

 

The full Academy Accreditation 2014 assessments are available to view by visiting:

www.therfl.co.uk/news/article/30676/super-league-academies-stronger-than

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I'd pay about as much attention to that as a Jamie Peacock lecture on elecution!

The Leeds scores look laughable to me, sure all but a couple of teams are hugely envious of their system and it's achievements - apparently it has a lot of improvement to do though....

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I'd pay about as much attention to that as a Jamie Peacock lecture on elecution!

The Leeds scores look laughable to me, sure all but a couple of teams are hugely envious of their system and it's achievements - apparently it has a lot of improvement to do though....

if there are clear ways of ranking and they fall short then so be it. Im sure they'll get those coaches qualified and be back to a 1 next year.

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if there are clear ways of ranking and they fall short then so be it. Im sure they'll get those coaches qualified and be back to a 1 next year.

The question i would have, and why i think the scoring is failing in some way. Is that one of the categories, the one in which Leeds have fallen from a 1 to a 3 is Achievements of the system – the improvements in the performance of players and coaches over a prolonged period. 

 

How can Leeds in 2013 have outstanding improvements in the performance of players and coaches over a prolonged period. Yet in 2014 require improvement in the performance of players and coaches over a prolonged period. 

 

A year in academy terms is not a prolonged period. 

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So the best academys are saints and wigan closely followed by warrington and widnes.....

has anyone heard of youth development in yorkshire?

It is frustrating that areas described as heartlands are doing such a poor job of securing and developing the future talent of TGG!

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Well, the highest-graded academy in Yorkshire, and the highest-graded after the four you list, will be ejected from Superleague from the end of the season after this weekend.

But never mind, as so many folk assure us of, that club is anyway a disgrace to SL, brings nothing to the competition and fully deserves to be relegated.

Personally, I think the only route into SL going forward will be if an existing SL club goes into financial meltdown. Which, with all the riches about to be dispensed from the new TV deal would seem pretty unlikely to me. The gulf in salary cap will just be far too big a hurdle for anything other than a truly exceptional club outside of the top division to overcome. So, if that indeed proves to be the case, that academy will be lost to SL for good.

Along with many totally disillusioned fans I fear lost to the game for good. The way I feel right now, including me.

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Well, the highest-graded academy in Yorkshire, and the highest-graded after the four you list, will be ejected from Superleague from the end of the season after this weekend.

But never mind, as so many folk assure us of, that club is anyway a disgrace to SL, brings nothing to the competition and fully deserves to be relegated.

Personally, I think the only route into SL going forward will be if an existing SL club goes into financial meltdown. Which, with all the riches about to be dispensed from the new TV deal would seem pretty unlikely to me. The gulf in salary cap will just be far too big a hurdle for anything other than a truly exceptional club outside of the top division to overcome. So, if that indeed proves to be the case, that academy will be lost to SL for good.

Along with many totally disillusioned fans I fear lost to the game for good. The way I feel right now, including me.

 

Having a top class academy to help with the first team in the championship AND having a parachute payment because you were a failure and were relegated should put the Bulls in prime position to challenge for promotion. The likes of Wakefield, Hull and maybe Hull KR will be a little concerned about having to beat the Bulls, Fev, Leigh, Batley, Doncaster and the like every week to maintain their SL spot. They ought to succeed but a bad injury list or loss of form at the wrong time could see them doomed and the Bulls or some other team replace them. It's a system rigged in the SL clubs favour but it's doable.

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So the best academys are saints and wigan closely followed by warrington and widnes.....

has anyone heard of youth development in yorkshire?

It is frustrating that areas described as heartlands are doing such a poor job of securing and developing the future talent of TGG!

And yet plenty of talent has and is coming our of these academies - so not something I would worry about based on this report.

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Well, the highest-graded academy in Yorkshire, and the highest-graded after the four you list, will be ejected from Superleague from the end of the season after this weekend.

But never mind, as so many folk assure us of, that club is anyway a disgrace to SL, brings nothing to the competition and fully deserves to be relegated.

Personally, I think the only route into SL going forward will be if an existing SL club goes into financial meltdown. Which, with all the riches about to be dispensed from the new TV deal would seem pretty unlikely to me. The gulf in salary cap will just be far too big a hurdle for anything other than a truly exceptional club outside of the top division to overcome. So, if that indeed proves to be the case, that academy will be lost to SL for good.

Along with many totally disillusioned fans I fear lost to the game for good. The way I feel right now, including me.

If only this 'top rated' academy could have produced some talented players than maybe the Bulls would have avoided the financial issues they had or had the talent to play their way out of relegation.

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If only this 'top rated' academy could have produced some talented players than maybe the Bulls would have avoided the financial issues they had or had the talent to play their way out of relegation.

Its highly unlikely that any academy team, however talented are going to step up to the first team en mass and save the team from relegation.

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Its highly unlikely that any academy team, however talented are going to step up to the first team en mass and save the team from relegation.

It may have produced some sellable talent though or a few key players. Guess my point is, if the Bradford academy is so good why have they reliant on loan signings this season like Tonks, Baldwinson, Sutcliffe, Arundel, Kaufusi, Pitt's, Mullally - to name a few.

Contrast this with Leeds who have loaned numerous academy products to others and covered injuries (to key playets) with the likes of Ward,Singleton, Walters, Minchella - amongst others....

Point is Bradford academy simply isn't the best in Yorkshire as suggested by this report- it's a result based industry and Bradfords clearly doesn't provide the results!

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I'd pay about as much attention to that as a Jamie Peacock lecture on elecution!

The Leeds scores look laughable to me, sure all but a couple of teams are hugely envious of their system and it's achievements - apparently it has a lot of improvement to do though....

 

 

especially when the lost at widnes a couple of weeks ago 

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especially when the lost at widnes a couple of weeks ago

I went to watch Cas - Widnes under 19's last season (I think). Cas won by about 50 - Widnes were horrific. Surely Cas should have scored higher than Widnes?

No, not that simple!

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Contrast this with Leeds who have loaned numerous academy products to others

I aren't saying they aren't talented players, I was saying they couldn't walk into a first team that had 6 points deducted and save them from relegation.

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I went to watch Cas - Widnes under 19's last season (I think). Cas won by about 50 - Widnes were horrific. Surely Cas should have scored higher than Widnes?

No, not that simple!

 

No, not at all...............it may be that Cas have a very talented group of players within the Academy ranks and this is highlighted on the pitch, however the assessments are based on the entire infrastructure of the Academy operation within any SL club and the main focus as outlined within the full report is relative to the following four references.

 

1. Achievements of the system – the improvements in the performance of players and coaches over a prolonged period. 
 
2. Quality of Leadership and Management – the strategy and vision of the Academy and progress made. 
 
3. How well Academies meet the needs of players- the welfare, education and safeguarding that is in place.
 
4. The Delivery of the Player Development system- The approaches used to optimise the development of players through to your First Grade and England. 
 
 
 
Castleford Tigers
 
Castleford Tigers academy has produced a constant number of players who have graduated from the academy to Super League and some onto England. Whilst there are currently some limitations of the system that have affected the overall scores, there are plans afoot to increase staff and make other enhancements to the academy to rival that of other Super League Clubs. There has been a new Head of Youth recently appointed and there is an overwhelming club ethos to develop home grown talent from all the major stakeholders within the club.
 
Widnes Vikings
 
Widnes Vikings have made significant advances in their Academy over the last three years that has shown a commitment to youth development linked to the strategic vision of the club. The Academy has the infrastructure to be aligned alongside established Super League Clubs. The Club has a strong view on recruiting local players with future potential and that can be seen in a large proportion of the players in the current first team squad. This is all underpinned by access to excellent facilities at the stadium and the clubs investment into their own full time independent education course and AASE programme.

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No, not at all...............it may be that Cas have a very talented group of players within the Academy ranks and this is highlighted on the pitch, however the assessments are based on the entire infrastructure of the Academy operation within any SL club and the main focus as outlined within the full report is relative to the following four references.

1. Achievements of the system – the improvements in the performance of players and coaches over a prolonged period.

2. Quality of Leadership and Management – the strategy and vision of the Academy and progress made.

3. How well Academies meet the needs of players- the welfare, education and safeguarding that is in place.

4. The Delivery of the Player Development system- The approaches used to optimise the development of players through to your First Grade and England.

Castleford Tigers

Castleford Tigers academy has produced a constant number of players who have graduated from the academy to Super League and some onto England. Whilst there are currently some limitations of the system that have affected the overall scores, there are plans afoot to increase staff and make other enhancements to the academy to rival that of other Super League Clubs. There has been a new Head of Youth recently appointed and there is an overwhelming club ethos to develop home grown talent from all the major stakeholders within the club.

Widnes Vikings

Widnes Vikings have made significant advances in their Academy over the last three years that has shown a commitment to youth development linked to the strategic vision of the club. The Academy has the infrastructure to be aligned alongside established Super League Clubs. The Club has a strong view on recruiting local players with future potential and that can be seen in a large proportion of the players in the current first team squad. This is all underpinned by access to excellent facilities at the stadium and the clubs investment into their own full time independent education course and AASE programme.

I know was responding to Viking Warrior suggesting that Widnes beating Leeds supported the assessment of Leeds academy requiring improvement in all areas.

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I aren't saying they aren't talented players, I was saying they couldn't walk into a first team that had 6 points deducted and save them from relegation.

In all honesty the first post from me you quoted was in response to a post critisising the rfl for allow Bradford relegation due to the assessment of there academy. I'm basically saying this is irrelevant, I don't have much faith in thsee assessments and that if the Bradford Academy had been good over a prolonged period (basis for assesment as mentioned by a previousbposter) this would have eased some of the issues Bradford have had both in terms of finances and playing ability.

I do agree that in isolation a few academy products playing this season wouldn't have prevented relegation however over a prolonged period the 'best academy' in yorkshire may have helped resolve some of the issues contributing to Bradfords current demise.

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What happens about rating the other academy set ups, i.e. the regional ones and others previously rated alongside the SL clubs including Sheffield & Fev?

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The question i would have, and why i think the scoring is failing in some way. Is that one of the categories, the one in which Leeds have fallen from a 1 to a 3 is Achievements of the system – the improvements in the performance of players and coaches over a prolonged period. 

 

How can Leeds in 2013 have outstanding improvements in the performance of players and coaches over a prolonged period. Yet in 2014 require improvement in the performance of players and coaches over a prolonged period. 

 

A year in academy terms is not a prolonged period. 

Maybe having coaches who are not qualified is such a bad thing that it overwhelmingly drags the score down.

 

Having unqualified coaches does seem a rather major point.

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Maybe having coaches who are not qualified is such a bad thing that it overwhelmingly drags the score down.

 

Having unqualified coaches does seem a rather major point.

 

It would be interesting to see a response from Leeds Rhinos on the subject to better gauge whether this represents a real downturn in the standards of what has clearly been a very successful academy in recent years which should be a real concern to Rhino's management, or if it just suggests that the scoring system is flawed and favours ensuring coaches have done a 2 week course over consistently producing first team players and England internationals.

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It would be interesting to see a response from Leeds Rhinos on the subject to better gauge whether this represents a real downturn in the standards of what has clearly been a very successful academy in recent years which should be a real concern to Rhino's management, or if it just suggests that the scoring system is flawed and favours ensuring coaches have done a 2 week course over consistently producing first team players and England internationals.

It would suggest that they have previously had qualified coaches as they have been graded a 1. Clearly some change has happened. 

 

If you ignore things in 1 year they can have a big knock on impact in future years, it would be irresponsible to ignore things like this and say 'ah well, you've always been good in the past so you can have a 1' - maintaining standards are important - Wigan and Saints did this.

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Are we not in danger of over regulating the sport we will soon fall the same way other industries have gone education , national health and Police .

We will have more pen pushers than practioners lets by all means set minimum standards but allow the pro clubs to develop their own systems Wigan , Leeds and Saints have always produced a high number of super league players so lets look at their good practice and allow the others to smarten up and be more pro active .

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Are we not in danger of over regulating the sport we will soon fall the same way other industries have gone education , national health and Police .

We will have more pen pushers than practioners lets by all means set minimum standards but allow the pro clubs to develop their own systems Wigan , Leeds and Saints have always produced a high number of super league players so lets look at their good practice and allow the others to smarten up and be more pro active .

They can can't they? I'm not aware of any punishments if they get graded 4 over a 1.

 

Does this affect funding at all?

 

If not, surely Leeds can say stuff it, we'll accept a 3 every year and we are happy with our approach.

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They can can't they? I'm not aware of any punishments if they get graded 4 over a 1.

 

Does this affect funding at all?

 

If not, surely Leeds can say stuff it, we'll accept a 3 every year and we are happy with our approach.

 

Which is exactly why I said i'd be interested to see a response from the Rhinos to better judge whether this represents the start of a real problem or is just a result of an imperfect system.

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Which is exactly why I said i'd be interested to see a response from the Rhinos to better judge whether this represents the start of a real problem or is just a result of an imperfect system.

Yep, will be interesting to watch, even if they don't say anything, next year's results will be interesting.

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