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Featherstone Rovers made yet another bold statement of intent this week...that intent being to have the highest quality coaching and mentoring of young players, when they recruited Chris Cartwright and retained Bernard Tomlin to operate alongside head coach Steve Copley in developing Rovers' u der 15s scholarship. The under 16s squad is coached by former Rovers player Tim Sharp assisted by Richard Morris and Robin Sharp.This arguably one of the strongest scholarship coaching teams in the professional game.
On the playing front, Rovers have retained every player they wanted to keep from last season's squad despite overtures from other clubs for several players.
The squad has been boosted by the recruitment of tricky half back Jack Miller: son of former Rover Tony Miller who is head coach at Doncaster, strong running back rower Luke Metcalfe and York based hooker Josh Poulter.
The specialist backroom staff has been strengthened by the addition of sprint coach Sue Taylor, weights and conditioning coach Allan Whitworth and masseur Damian Rules.
Scholarship manager Robin Sharp holds everything together and was a key figure in the setting up of the current scheme. He said;
�Last year was special for us; we learned a lot and we had a level of on-field success that surprised a few people. This season we move to the next level.�
�We run our operation slightly differently to other clubs, but the main thing, with the establishment of an Academy side playing against Super League opposition, we now have a clear, consistent and high quality pathway to first team professional rugby for those that are good enough and have the right levels of dedication and desire.�
�The recruitment of Sue Taylor and Allan Whitworth means that we will be going into games with levels of athleticism and strength to make us a aa force in our competition.�
Head coach Daryl Powell is delighted with the progress of Rovers' scholarship. He said;
�I'm delighted with the progress of our youth development systems, which are greatly enhanced by having such high quality people on board. We are in the process of embedding a seamless coaching pathway for talented young coaches to move through the system in the same way that our players do.�