Wakefield Trinity are delighted to announce that our Academy side have signed six talented players.
During the off-season the Youth Academy staff have been busy resigning and retaining some of the regions most talented young players. While just like their Senior counterparts, they’ve been working hard to recruit new players who have the potential to follow Max Jowitt, Tom Johnstone and the rest who’ve already graduated to the Super League Team.
In the face of stiff competition from half a dozen other Super League clubs Wakefield Trinity have secured the signatures of six talented young prospects from a variety of backgrounds.
We spoke to them and asked them why they chose Wakefield Trinity and they all had a similar story to tell.
Wing man, Elliott Caine introduced himself to Trinity fans with a brace of tries against Dewsbury Rams, one of those being a scintillating 80-meter race down the touchline.
The former Salford Academy player preferred Wakefield to a number of Super League clubs and said, “As soon as my parents and I met and spoke to Richard Kelly and Mark Applegarth we knew that Wakefield was going to be the right choice. They both spoke with real passion and honesty about their vision for the Academy’s future and where I would fit into it.”
Centre Tyron Travis is another who’s recently joined, standing 6’2”, with genuine pace and power he offers a real physical presence out wide. A try scorer in each of his three games so far Tyron has been impressive going forward and certainly knows where the line is.
Travis Said, “I’m really enjoying it at Wakefield, the lads and the Coaching staff have been brilliant and I feel like I’ve been part of the team forever. The training is really tough and intense but it’s high quality and challenging which has helped me improve a number of things in my game already.”
Harvey Hallas is a fully signed up member of the Front Row Club, sporting the required long beard that’s become the Hallmark of so many quality Prop Forwards, making him hard to miss. Harvey called time on his Leeds Rhino’s Academy career and sought the challenge of a new environment that could help him reach the next level.
Harvey explained why he’d chosen Wakefield Trinity ahead of 3 other Super League Clubs that had made him an offer. “As soon as I knew I was leaving Leeds I had Wakefield in my sights, of all the Clubs who speak about Youth products being given a chance to progress Wakefield are the one who back up their words. I spoke with U19s Academy Head Coach Mick Hill about coming to Wakefield and he introduced me to Head of Youth Development Richard Kelly. There was no pressure, no grand promises designed to convince me, there was just honesty and conviction in what they believed. I went away and spoke to other clubs but I couldn’t shake the feeling that Wakefield Trinity was the right place to be.”
Local lad Tom Sowerby, a product of Stanley Rangers, is another who jumped at the chance of joining Wakefield when the opportunity knocked. A live wire Half or Hooker, Tom has explosive pace, is an instinctive support player and has an eye for a gap that’s made him a prolific try scorer wherever he’s played.
Sowerby said, “It’s the realisation of a dream to pull on the Trinity shirt, generations of my family have been Wakefield Trinity fans and I’m no different. My only regret is that my grandad didn’t get to see me do it but I know he’d have been really proud to see me play for the club he supported all his life. The Trinity Academy is a great place to develop, the sessions are high quality, intense and the attention to detail is a real eye opener.”
Luke Hooley is another player whose signature was sought after by as many as 4 other Super League Clubs. A 6’2” Full Back, Luke has everything required to go all the way in the game, athletic and quick over the ground, he’s looked assured and composed in his early outings for the Academy. Two Tries and Four Goals in his first competitive Academy match has marked Luke out as one to watch over the coming year.
Luke explained why he felt Wakefield Trinity appealed to him above all the other clubs who made him an offer. “I did my homework, I went to a number of clubs and watched their training sessions, I spoke to those involved in delivering and managing the Youth Academy’s and Wakefield stood out.
I had meetings with Mark Applegarth and Richard Kelly who really sold the club to me but did so by putting me first. Mark told me to go away and talk to everyone who was interested and then sign for the club that felt right for me whether that was Wakefield or not. It was never about money for me, the pathway and a genuine chance of progression was everything and that meant Wakefield Trinity. Everything I’ve seen and experienced since joining Wakefield Trinity has confirmed to me that I made the correct decision.”
Zayne Cloete follows in the footsteps of James Batchelor by joining Trinity from the Wakefield College based Category 3 Academy team that’s run in conjunction with Wakefield Trinity. At 6’1” Zayne has all the physical qualities to forge a successful career as an outside back.
Zayne said, “James Batchelor ‘s progress has been an inspiration to me and the other players from the College and I hope to become someone that future young players can look at and see that perseverance, hard work and belief can pay off. The step up from Category 3 academy to Super League U19s is huge and a real challenge but I’m receiving all the help I could ever want from the Coaches and support staff at Wakefield.”
Head of Youth and Academy Development, Richard Kelly spoke about the Academy recruitment, “In terms of recruitment to the Academy we’ve consciously targeted highly sought after players and we’re 6 for 6 in that regard. Every single time we’ve made our desire to sign a player known and had the opportunity to speak to that player, we’ve been successful even in cases where a top four club has offered significantly more money than us.
“Wakefield Trinity are recognised as one of if not the best in the game when it comes to player development and progression to our Senior team. We don’t dress it up to be an easy progression, in fact we’re brutally honest about the dedication and commitment required if you’re going to survive the rigours of Academy life at Wakefield Trinity.
“I think our track record speaks for itself but the passion, dedication and not least the technical abilities of our staff are major factors in our success in helping players achieve their potential.”