Yarnbury have re-organised their organisation surrounding the 17 – 19 year old colts and junior colts by strengthening their coaching arrangements.
After discussions with the current senior colts coaching staff, the RFU regional development officers and their own senior team coaches, it has been decided that to ensure the club can manage to run an efficient and successful senior colts team next season that we must merge the junior colts (under-17s) side with the senior colts and invest in a dedicated coaching staff for this squad of players.
What it basically means is that the two sides will be removed from the junior section completely and put under the responsibility of the senior section in readiness for the transition from age grade rugby.
It means that both teams would train together as one squad on a Tuesday and Thursday evenings alongside the senior section (but not with or against them)
Overall responsibility would be with Yarnbury, Yorkshire senior county and England senior counties head coach Bob Hood.
In addition we have been extremely lucky to secure the services of Richard Dixon the Yorkshire under-18s head coach who will become the club's first head of youth development whose sole job will be to coach and prepare these two teams for league rugby and the step from junior to senior rugby.
We can also announce that we have also secured the services of Carl Patterson (Yarnbury 1st XV stand off and Yorkshire coach) and Nathan Benton (Yarnbury 1st XV scrum half) to assist in the squad coaching.
Yorkshire under-18s forwards coach Tom Gilchrist and Yorkshire under-18s backs coach and ex Otley Director of rugby Gary Walker will also be on hand to offer coaching and advice.
Alex Bowden and Dave Newby will continue to help with coaching on a Tuesday/Thursday when possible and also on a Sunday with the senior colts team and Jonathan Sutcliffe, Pete Booth and Dermot Burke will do the same with the junior colts.
The players will have the opportunity to be coached by five current Yorkshire age-grade coaches including the full coaching staff of the Yorkshire under-18s team.
This is to cement continuation between the junior section and senior sides for the forseeable future.
The two teams will continue to play their league matches as separate teams on a Sunday with their own individual coaching/admin.
The players will be coached as a squad on a Tuesday and Thursday evenings by the new dedicated colts squad coaching staff.
There will be some player movement within the two teams as there is the option of having players playing "up" a team as and when required.
The introduction of some rugby league players at the end of September will swell the junior colts numbers it might be necessary to allow the better more capable players of playing up in the senior colts as and when required (but not every week) This will obviously be made easier by training together as a squad and knowing each other already.
No other under-17, 18 and 19 teams within the whole of Yorkshire will have the level of coaching that we are able to offer!
With new floodlights and £50,000 worth of drainage to be carried out on the training pitch next season, it is clear to see that the club are investing heavily in to the future.
The emphasis will still be very much on the lads enjoying their rugby experience whilst receiving the very best coaching available!
In addition we hope to provide a combined end of season colts squad tour and there is even talk of a "significant" tour the year if all goes well.
There is a brand new set of shirts for the colts sides sponsored by Leeds Trinity University. There will be a very professional look and feel to the whole operation.