Elite Junior Academy 2014 Our club academy has built up over the past 5 years and is proudly sponsored Surge Fitness. The Academy this year was run pre-Christmas by Tyran Murray (U13 Coach), Kieron Lines (U14 Coach) and Andrew Wood (U10). Initially the plan was to take 30ish players this would allow for a manageable split between both coaches. 2 nights of trials were arranged and based on attitude, current skill level and commitment shown during the Trial 32 players were selected to partake in the academy this in no way a reflection on those who missed out on this occasion, keep putting in the work and next time you should be successful. The academy was run with 2 main goals improve overall fitness and hone key skills and decision making. The first 20 mins of each session was dedicated to intense fitness training in a bid to tire the players prior to the skills element this would help simulate the fatigue they have to contend with during the game. All the players took the fitness sessions well and in all honesty they all showed signs of improvement by the end of the academy some who I thought would struggle with the intense fitness training surprised me with dedication and the desire not to give up. This coupled with a fantastic team spirit between the 3 age groups in encouraging each other to perform to the best of their ability showed this was to be a good academy. For the key skills section we split the boys into 2 groups of mixed ages based on ability assessed in the trials. We focused on repetition training building each session by increasing the skill level required during the session. We decided to focus on one particular skill set in each session running passing, tackling, rucking and decision making during the course of the academy. The academy ran well with improvements across the board in both fitness, skills and decision making which makes for the 2015 season to be a very interesting prospect for the now U14, U15 and U16. We had the unenviable task of selecting players for the 4 awards, 2 of which were Players Awards for the 2 groups Tiago Valentim (U15) and Kyle Cope (U14) won this award as voted for by their peers. The coach’s awards went to Gareth Jones (U14) and Connor Sharrock (U13) these were based on commitment, attitude and development. In all honesty the coach’s award could have gone to anyone of the boys who completed the academy the decision was not made easy due to the commitment and attitude of the lads. It has been a pleasure and an honour to coach this season both the U14’s and the academy we as a club can be very proud of the talent we are developing and I very much look forward to the 2015 season and the success it should bring. Good look to all those in the next season keep up the hard work and to those who suffered injuries during the academy speedy recovery.