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Widnes Vikings' next generation signed up - all 25 of them
1:28pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in Sport
Widnes Vikings U19’s new recruits (L-R): Konnagh Hill, Theo Holt, Ryan Ince, Jack Houghton, Connor Cutts and Jack Bond. Not pictured; Josh Johnson.
WIDNES Vikings have secured the futures of 25 elite players, who they hope will become the next generation of Super League stars at the club.
These young men will wear the Vikings shirt in 2014 and represent the club in either the U19’s or U16’s Academy competitions, pitting their wits against other high quality athletes affiliated with fellow Super League and leading Championship clubs.
Widnes Vikings’ Coach & Player Development Manager Shane Eccles, said that he is pleased with the quality of the new recruits and the impressive conveyor belt of talent in place at the club.
He said: : “Each of the seven new U19s Academy signings has progressed through our U16’s Academy. Their effort, commitment and performance in both the training and match day environment, was a key factor in them being retained and receiving their first professional contract.
“These players will now combine their playing and training programme, whilst studying full-time at the club, on a BTEC Level 3 Certificate in Performance & Excellence.
“We have also secured a number of new recruits to our U16’s Academy. The club’s scouting team have been scouring the North West since the start of the Community Season back in March, identifying players with the potential to become Super League stars of the future.
“The eighteen players that we have welcomed to the club, we believe, currently show the necessary behavioural characteristics and desire to progress through our system. Hopefully we will see a number of them pulling on a first-team shirt in the not too distant future.”
Widnes’ Scholarship Coach Kurtis Marsh, added: “These are very exciting times for the Youth Department at the club. The coaching staff and the players are really looking forward to getting together as a group, and kick-starting our plans for the 2014 season.
“Although the fixtures may not actually start until spring next year, our training programmes will commence from September, in preparation for what we hope will be a successful year for both of our Academy teams.”
2014 U19’s signings (NAME, JUNIOR CLUB, HIGH SCHOOL)
Konnagh Hill, Halton Farnworth Hornets, Saints Peter & Paul
Theo Holt, Rylands Sharks, Beamont Collegiate Academy
Ryan Ince, Widnes Moorfield, Saints Peter & Paul
Jack Houghton, Clock Face Miners, Sutton Academy
Connor Cutts, Clock Face Miners, St. Augustines
Jack Bond, West Bank Bears, The Heath
Josh Johnson, Liverpool Lions, De La Salle
2014 U16’s signings
James Rutledge, Halton Farnworth Hornets, Wade Deacon
Liam Walsh, Halton Farnworth Hornets, Saints Peter & Paul
Ellis Lewis, Halton Farnworth Hornets, Saints Peter & Paul
Sam Freeman, Halton Farnworth Hornets, Saints Peter & Paul
Louis Wainwright, Crosfields, Great Sankey
Owen Farnworth, Chorley Panthers, Southlands High School
Aidan Sutton, Ince Rose Bridge, St. John Fisher
Ryan Bretherton, Wigan St. Judes, Hawkley Hall
Lloyd Roby, Rylands Sharks, Cardinal Newman
Ben Dixon, Crosfields, Great Sankey
Alex Stewart, Crosfields, Great Sankey
Danny Walker, Rylands Sharks, Beamont Collegiate Academy
Keanan Brand, Wigan St. Patricks, St. Peters RC High School
Chris Wilson, Orrell St. James, St. Peters RC High School
Brad McAlpine, Rylands Sharks, Beamont Collegiate Academy
Daniel Slater-Mairs, Rylands Sharks, Sir Thomas Boteler
Jake Alder, Wigan St. Patrick,s Hindley High
Rhys Horrocks, Ince Rose Bridge, Ince Rose Bridge High