The future looks bright for the Salford Red Devils as they continue to build the foundations of their academy through the Sky Try programme.
The Sky Try initiative, which is designed to attract 100,000 extra people to the sport of rugby league each year, is enabling the club to discover and identify talent suitable for their youth programmes.
Alongside the ‘Rising Star’ scheme, Sky Try has become a key step in the process to developing the future of rugby league in Salford and has become a feeder into the clubs ‘Under n19’s Development academy ’ .
The ‘Rising Stars’ scheme gives players from the years 6 - 11 the opportunity to develop their skills as rugby players in a professional environment at the same time as working on their life skills and helping them to be better people as well as rugby players. The aim to progress into the under 19’s development academy squad is the next step on our pathway but the enjoyment and good experiences being Involved at Salford and in the community is key to our pathway.
The initiative has seen huge success over the last few years, with the team having fantastic wins over Cat 1 Super League academy’s such Castleford Tigers and Newcastle Thunder, and head coach Danny Barton feels that Sky Try is key to maintaining this success in the future;
“Sky Try is hugely important to us to developing a successful youth system here at the Red Devils. From primary schools up into secondary schools it gives us a fantastic opportunity to bring new players into the sport, and identify those with the talent to play at a high level. Working alongside the RFL and other local partners Greater Manchester will become a key part of the Salford Red Devils pathway”
With the programme engaging schools and clubs from across Greater Manchester, Barton has been hugely impressed with the level of talent on display;
“The standard we have seen through the Sky Try programmes we’ve run is fantastic, its hugely encouraging to see Salford and Greater Manchester producing real talent at a youth level, and hopefully the first team will benefit from this talent in years to come. We have now started to see the benefits with this with Connor Aspey and Luis Roberts earning professional contracts and going on to make their super league debuts in 2020”
Sky Try has been instrumental in establishing a clear player progression, working alongside the 'England talent pathway' programme to engage with young players from the age of 12, and bring them through into the 'Rising Stars' setup.
With these programmes in place, the Red Devils are confident that they will be able to capitalise on the huge potential that exists in Salford and the wider area, and secure a successful and exciting future for the club at the highest level, built on local talent.