Crooks Reflects On Success Of West Cumbria Development Academy

Crooks Reflects On Success Of West Cumbria Development Academy

Lee Crook has reflected on the success of the club’s West Cumbria Development Academy in recent months.

Centre of Excellence News

Lee Crook has reflected on the success of the club’s West Cumbria Development Academy in recent months.

The development hub in the North West, just one of several that have been announced alongside our latest hub in Nigeria, has gone from strength to strength since its formation last year.

Most recently, the West Cumbrian Development side defeated Newcastle Thunder U16s 28-10 at the LEL Arena, with the side showing some great progress in recent weeks.

Crooks, the club’s Head of Rugby League Development, said: “The partnership with Whitehaven and Hull FC which started almost a year ago is now starting to bear fruit.

“The game on Saturday between Newcastle U16s scholarship/development team and our West Cumbria Development Academy, which had a mixture of U15 and U16s, was a fitting start to our second year of the programme.

“The group of players we have are energetic, enthusiastic and very coachable with lots of potential. This said, I thought the team were great and played with a lot of confidence.

“I am very confident that the players who are on the development programme will get better as the year goes along and this can only be good for not only Hull FC and Whitehaven but the community game in general within West Cumbria.”

Looking ahead to 2023, Crooks added: “Our big challenge is to start up a Centre of Excellence programme next September 2023 at Penrith Sports College, Newton Rig which will be an extension of Hull FC Academy and Centre of Excellence programmes.

“Our aim is to keep players who we think have the potential to become professional players in West Cumbria for as long as possible, drip feeding them into life in Hull.

“We have already signed Jackson Smith onto our U15s Scholarship programme and he will train with our development squads, coming down to Hull during the holiday periods to train with our scholarship team.

“We believe that this is the best way to create opportunities for players up here and help them fit seamlessly into our academy and professional environment”

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