HUDDERSFIELD Giants have today launched a new scheme designed to bring the best out of the area’s top young talent.
Named the ‘Talentbuilder Initiative’, it aims to create a high-quality system for identifying and developing rugby talent.
And it will also provide a way for Giants fans and the wider community to become involved.
Details of the new scheme were announced by club Managing Director Richard Thewlis, who believes the Giants are on to a real winner.
“Over the last few years we have seen our supporter-base rise significantly, we have excellent long-term relationships with partners and sponsors, we have reached our first major final in over 40 years and are now pushing for a play-off place for the first time,” he said.
“On top of that, there are exciting developments in terms of our training facilities.
“So now we are best placed to focus on developing the youth for our club in the future with the announcement of the Talentbuilder.”
The new initiative will include on-going activities to encourage children to enjoy playing rugby, scouting and talent-identification systems, specialist training camps for players with potential, development routes for young elite athletes and close collaboration between the club and fund raisers.
The initial members of the committee will be Thewlis, Giants football manager Stuart Sheard and Dr Paul Morgan, a non-executive director of the club with a specialist background in education and sports science.
Further members, who are supporters of the club, will be added in the next few weeks.
Dr Morgan added, “There are people who like to criticise our development work to date.
“They seem oblivious to the fact that leading players like Eorl Crabtree, Paul Jackson, Andy Raleigh and Ryan Hudson came through our development systems.
“We also have Tom Hemingway and Leroy Cudjoe pressing hard for first-team selection and this year we have signed no fewer than four players for the first-team next year.
“Our coaching staff believe Chris Lawson, Michael Lawrence, Richard Lopag and James Martin have an excellent chance of becoming Super League players, which accounts for close on half of our squad in 2008.
“This is encouraging, and we want to build on it further, which is why we have announced this new initiative.”
Members of the Giants community will be able to get involved in a number of ways, including contributing to coaching events, being part of the scouting system, offering specialist coaching/educational inputs and fund raising.
The club has already spoken to current fundraising groups and encouraged them to channel their funds into Talentbuilder, and they are already putting fund-raising activities in place.
There will be an option for supporters to make a voluntary contribution when they buy their season tickets.
It will also be possible for individual and corporate supporters to have standing orders for contributions or make one-off payments.
The club are now planning an informal forum at the end of this season where the Giants can explain more about the Talentbuilder scheme.
And if you would like to get involved in fund-raising and/or talent development please contact the Giants via ‘email@example.com.’