- Blyth RFC building player numbers from youth level up
- Products of recently formed Academy training alongside seniors
Photo: RFU Archive
Perched on the North East coast of England, Blyth RFC has always battled hard against both the elements and soccer to make rugby a success in the town. In its most recent initiative to encourage younger players to join, it has formed an Academy for Under 17s, working with four local high schools. The schools, Cramlington Learning Village, Blyth School, St Benet Biscop and Bede Academy, are already enjoying the benefits of their partnership with the club.
The Academy is coached by Mick Sutherland and managed by Mick Rose and the players train alongside the senior club on Thursday evenings. This allows the up-and-coming young players to learn from their seniors and it helps them to mix socially after training. The idea is to make the younger generation feel at home in the club, so ensuring the future of its teams.
Youth Chairperson at Blyth RFC, Max Proud, is pleased with what’s been achieved so far: “At the beginning, only seven players turned up for an away game to Acklam. The following week that number rose to 12 and we travelled to play at Gateshead, who kindly lent us players to equal the teams.
“We recently played Darlington and were able to put out a squad of 18. With confidence we are slowly building up the squad, looking forward to future games. Thanks must go to Northumberland Rugby Charitable Trust, who gave us a grant to purchase a complete new set of rugby kit. Youth rugby is definitely on the up again at Blyth.”