Player Development Pathway Round-up

The Warrington Wolves Player Development Pathway – Yearly Round-Up

Following it’s launch in February 2022, Warrington Wolves’ Player Development Pathway has provided training opportunities for 684 players from across Warrington, the Northwest, Cumbria, and Wales to train and be coached in a professional club environment. The players joined us from forty-six different community clubs, with some travelling over two and a half hours to join in the sessions!

In partnership with the RFL’s England Talent Pathway, the program has seen a high volume of players partake in skill development sessions, strength and conditioning workshops and contact and wrestle coaching, at Warrington Wolves first team training facilities in both University of Chester and Victoria Park.

Our U12s program began in April half term, with players learning core skill elements at Victoria Park, before moving over to Padgate for the “Summer Program”. The summer program at this age group had two primary focusses, enjoyment, and engagement. Players were taught new skills and developed their talent through a mixture of drills and small sided games with different skill element focusses.

For the U13s, their involvement in the program began in the same week, with 70 players training together at Victoria Park. Their program for the year follows a similar path to the under 12s, however with more focus around the detail of their core skill, both offensively and defensively. These players were also invited to use the wrestle room at University of Chester, to refine their contact and wrestling technique.

The U14s had the high number of players registered for the program over the course of the year, with 235 players all attending sessions between February and August. Alongside constant core skill development, the players skill was stressed in game scenarios and small sided games with changing rules. These players had 18 training opportunities throughout the seven months, and twelve players were signed to Warrington academies scholarship program on the back of their attendance on the program.

Finally, the U16s group started their pathway back in April with training day at Priestley College, showing the high-class facilities available to them in our 16-18 development academy. Throughout the day, players had a nutrition and supplements workshop with the Academy Strength and Conditioning intern Lewis Glover, a programmed weights session followed by a skills training session. After lunch, players played a full contact game to show off their skills and anything new they picked up throughout the day. This age group continued throughout the summer at Padgate, using the field, the gym and indoor training barn to continue their development.

Alongside players getting an opportunity to play and train in a different environment, the program is also a valuable experience for local community coaches to work alongside professional club staff and develop their own capabilities. The program welcomed thirteen community coaches from clubs across Warrington and provided them all with continued professional development which they could take back to their own team.

Not only a pathway for players, in reward of his effort and commitment to the community program over several years, Mark Smith was invited onto the club’s scholarship coaching set up following his involvement in the PDP. Speaking of how the PDP helped develop his coaching, Mark said;

PDP has been a great opportunity for players from the community to hone their skills against players from across the region! The players are presented with a mixture of coaching styles delivering specific detail to help develop their skills and take this back to their community clubs.

Alex provides an excellent structure with the program allowing both player and coach development! Coaches are encouraged to reflect and evaluate coaching with regular feedback to develop their coaching. This has allowed me to progress on my coaching pathway onto coaching on our scholarship program.

If you’re interested in coaching on the program next year, don’t hesitate to email alexbielby@warringtonwolvesfoundation.com and thank you to everyone who has played a part in the pathway this year, and we are looking forward to it restarting from September