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Widnes Vikings Schoolboys Development Squad update
3:34pm Thursday 17th January 2013 in Sport
Last Saturday witnessed the second in-house match in the “Clash of the Chemics” Tri-series as part of the unique Widnes Vikings Schoolboy Development Project.
The keenly contested game saw potential Widnes Vikings stars of the future display their skills in a “real life” situation, putting into practice all that has been learned so far in this year’s programme.
The match, hosted by the Halton Farnworth Hornets Junior Community Club at their Wilmere Lane facility, ended with the “Chairman’s” team running out worthy winners against their “Presidents” counterparts. This means that both squads have won one match apiece, and the final – to be played on the i-pitch on February 16th really will be a decider.
It needs to be remembered that the three matches – under controlled conditions - are simply one element in the project with the Year 6 and Year 7 boys from schools throughout Halton and the Widnes Vikings area of influence, receiving top quality coaching, training, advice (in addition to a series of varied activities), throughout their time on the programme, that is staffed enthusiastically by twelve volunteers.
It is a project that has attracted the interest of other local Super League clubs, with many experts expressing the view that it is a scheme that could well be adopted as an exemplar of good practice. Once again, it shows that Widnes is in the forefront of advanced thinking and good practice, engaging with young developing talent in a non-threatening, non-pressured but nonetheless challenging environment.
There is no doubt that the boys on Saturday displayed a very high level of both individual and team skills, at the same time illustrating their versatility that is an essential part of the development project.
As has become the custom, one boy from each squad was identified as being the “Player of Merit” – Dylan Miller for the Chairman’s select and Brandon O’Neill for the Presidents XIII but this was about the collective not individuals and as such was a testament to the value of this type of experience for the youngsters.
As noted, the project has attracted interest from a number of areas and credit for the Widnes Schools and Widnes Vikings partnership being able to provide such a programme must go to all of the other partners: HBC Sports Development, Widnes Amateur Rugby League, the Widnes Past Players Association, Halton Concrete and Jacks Barbers, all of whom are investing in the future for our youngsters and our club.