CUMBRIA CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE
RUGBY LEAGUE ACADEMY
Hull FC has delivered an ‘Outstanding’ rated academy operation for a number of years, both in the guise of Hull FC and City of Hull Academy, the latter which finished top of the RFL’s production table. The club has recently returned to its academy organisation with a new expanded Centre of Excellence programme – combining a performance centric education programme with full- time elite coaching.
The centre of Excellence is the overarching programme that is home to the clubs academy, scholarship and development squads, as well as the disability rugby league and women rugby league teams – as we firmly believe our commitment to our academy rugby league and player pathways is about much more than an U18s academy squad.
Whilst our ultimate goal is to develop first team players at Hull FC that can contribute to on field success, we recognize that we also have an obligation to the game to produce future players for the lower tiers and community game, as well as coaches, officials and staff. This programme is centred in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire, were Hull FC have actively driven the overhaul and relaunch of the schools and community games. Development activity is also underway to expand the programme into new national and regional areas with a series of Talented Athlete Hubs and Rugby League Development Centres – The first which will be launched in West Cumbria.
The holistic approach work is already delivering positive outcomes in Hull and the East Riding.
50% of current squad Hull born/homegrown/academy products
8 Academy ‘Rising Stars’ training with first-team squad
150+ players registered to Centre of Excellence players programmes
12% increase in participation in the community game
Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ rated education offer
96% education qualification pass rate
Six student achieved university places from 2020/21 cohort
We now want to enhance this model, grow the Hull FC talent pool and brand and help other clubs progress their own development pathways in partnership with the black and whites. Working in partnership with other clubs and colleges, we aim to establish 5 new Regional Development Centres across the country.
Head of Rugby
The development hub in the North West, just one of several that have been announced alongside our latest hub in Nigeria, has gone from strength to strength since its formation last year.
Crooks, the club’s Head of Rugby League Development, said: “The partnership with Hull FC and Penrith Sports College and Cumbrian Institute of Sport which started almost a year ago is now starting to bear fruit.
“There are a group of players throughout Cumbria that are energetic, enthusiastic and very coachable rugby league players with lots of potential. This said, I think players from other sports could play rugby league as well with a lots of confidence.
“I am very confident that the players who are on the development programme will get better as the year goes along and this can only be good for not only Hull FC but the community game in general within West and South Cumbria.”
Looking ahead to 2023, Crooks added: “Our big challenge is to get players to be part of our Centre of Excellence programme next September 2023 at Penrith Sports College, Newton Rig which will be an extension of Hull FC Academy and Reserves programmes.
“Our aim is to recruit players who think they have the potential to become better players in a professional environment and ultimately develop into academy players. We want to keep these players in Cumbria for as long as possible until the players who have excelled can be drip fed into life in Hull.
“We have already signed Jackson Smith onto our U15s Scholarship programme and he will train with our development squads, coming down to Hull during the holiday periods to train with our scholarship team.
“We believe that this is the best way to create opportunities for players up here and help them fit seamlessly into our academy and professional “environment”
PlayerTEK is a revolutionary GPS tracking system used by a variety of professional clubs.
Each student enrolled on our football academy will receive a PlayerTEK pod and vest. This will be used in training and games to analyse physical performance, allowing the coaches to individualise training plans.
VEO is a revolutionary technology which allows games to be recorded without a cameraman. The software allows the user to capture the whole game.
Allowing players to analyse their own performance alongside creating highlight videos for scholarships.