Academy plans are unveiled - The Worcester Observer

Academy plans are unveiled

Worcester Editorial 20th Sep, 2013 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016   0

A NEW youth system is set to be launched next summer as director of rugby Dean Ryan bids to make Worcester Warriors “a place of aspiration”.

Ryan revealed plans were in place to get an academy up and running ahead of the 2014/15 academic year as Warriors attempt to capture the region’s rising talent.

The former Gloucester head coach has previously spoken of his shock at the state of Worcester’s “neglected” youth set-up and has made it a central part of his long-term plans for the club.

He believes the board’s investment into a new academy will create a much-needed player pathway for talented teenagers which he insisted will eventually have an affect on Warriors’ Aviva Premiership ambitions.

“I came here knowing what the problems were, I came here knowing what I need to do and I have been very forceful with the board about how to make this club successful in the long term and what to have in place,” Ryan said.

“I can get ten kids together in a room and say ‘you are the academy’. But you have to invest 18 hours a week in them since they were 16 years old. We haven’t had anything like that and we haven’t had any avenue as we have been over focused on making sure we don’t get relegated.

“Next summer, ahead of the academic year, will be a key turning point for us. It takes five years to generate talent but it starts next summer.

“I haven’t come here to be bouncing around in three years time trying to put together a squad to keep us going.

“I have come here to create the building blocks to make this a top six club in the future and that means we have to have one of the market leading academies. If we don’t we will not be a top six club – it is that simple.”

Ryan said Harlequins, who Warriors take on tonight, were a great example of what he intends to create at Sixways.

And he hopes the likes of Worcester youngsters Elliot Davies and Max Stelling, who featured in the Cavaliers’ 52-26 defeat to Northampton Wanderers on Monday, will be among an exciting group of talented players vying for a starting spot in five years time.

“I think is Quins are a great model. They have got a squad of 44 and 30 of them are academy produced. We have four,” Ryan added.

“Of course it costs money, but so does recruiting one and trying to not get relegated. We need to invest in an academy and we need to create opportunities within it.

“I need to change culturally what this place is as it needs to be a place of aspiration.”


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