At Salford Red Devils Foundation we can now offer a clear pathway into professional rugby league for all aspiring young players from the age of 13
Rising Stars Camps
The Rising Stars camps allows players in years 7-9 to come onto our summer holiday camps. Here they will learn and develop different Rugby skills which will be game related therefore they can take these skills back to their amateur clubs and community game. Rising Stars Programme The Rising Stars programme offers playing and training opportunities to years 10-11 for players who are highlighted and recommended from our scouts and community coaches. Once selected, players train with our coaches once a week and are introduced to core lifts in the gym, basic bodyweight exercises and how to be safe within a gym environment. Along with this Players are developed on the pitch by our coaches who create skill games and push players to their physical limits. The final stage of the Rising stars programme is having the opportunity to play against Betfred Super League & Championship opposition.
U19s Development College Academy
Our u19s development college academy is the next step in the pathway for players to develop and express their rugby skills and talent in a competitive nature against other development academies all over the country. Based at Eccles sixth form college our development academy is full time education based which provides players with the key benefit of gaining an outstanding education. Having links with Salford City Colleges allows us to now offer a variation of subjects including, Btec, A-Level and apprenticeships! You will be coached by Salford Red Devils Head of youth Danny Barton who is also coach of the reserve grade team, this link puts you in the eye of Danny who can make an assessment on you if to progress you into the reserve grade team.
If selected, the next step in the pathway is the reserve grade system. As Mentioned the Reserves are coached by Head of youth Danny Barton who is also head coach of the u19s development academy, this creates an easy transition for anyone who is selected. The reserve grade team compete in the Reserve league and creates the opportunity to come up against some current Betfred super league players who are out of favour, meaning you can test yourself against the best. From our 2018/19 intake we have had 8 players progress to reserve grade from the u19s development academy, all of which gaining a minimum of a 4 week trial.
After going through the whole pathway this is what you work for, the first team. Our first team compete in the Betfred super league, Englands elite rugby league competition. The first team are coached by Ian Watson who has the ability of highlighting raw talent in players and developing them into outstanding rugby league professionals. Since our u19s development programme started we have been able to offer training opportunities with the first team to 9 hard working, humble and deserving players. By training with the first team you get to see how full time professionals work week in week out and what you must do to be successful. Aswell as this you learn valuable key details from Ian Watson when he displays his detailed game plans for an upcoming match. Of course the ultimate goal by the end of this pathway is to debut for Salford and make as many appearances as possible.
So far we are delighted to share with you that from the rising star camps we have 2 players who have achieved the whole pathway and have ultimately gone on to sign professional deals in 2020! Luis Roberts ( heritage number 1234 ) made his super league debut in a 20-18 win vs Warrington Wolves on the 29th September 2020 with Connor Aspey also involved being the 18th man on the night! 2 Weeks later Connor Aspey ( heritage number 1235) went on to make his Super League debut in a 24-22 Defeat to Hull KR with Luis Roberts also involved making his second appearance in Super League
Connor Aspey is Salfords youngest ever player to debut after featuring in a pre season friendly in 2019 aged just 16! The Hindley ARLFC amateur, Connor, also goes onto feature in another pre season game in 2020 vs Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell jones stadium. Connor also had a loan spell at Valencia Huracanes early in 2020 and went down in history becoming the first ever player to score a try for Valencia vs Featherstone!
Luis Roberts, a product of local club Folly Lane ARLFC, made his debut in 2020 vs Swinton Lions in a pre season friendly, shortly after signing his first professional deal with the club. Like Connor, Luis also had a small loan spell at Valencia huracanes where aged just 17 he walked away with the man of the match against championship opposition featherstone. Along with a very impressive list of club achievements Luis also boasts international recognition with Wales. Progression through the ranks both at Salford and Wales meant Luis was included in the 2019 9s world cup & 2020 European championship Mens elite train on squad for Wales of which only 32 players were selected!