The Knights have agreed a new partnership with Doncaster College for the future of the academy. Following a successful enrolling stages, the club and college have cemented their relationship.
The College rugby side has been guided to a successful year on the pitch by Knights players Tyson Lewis, Richard List and Matt Challinor, who will all continue to coach the young prospects next season.
A league title was followed up by taking home the Northern Plate cup competition to round off a fruitful year for the College team.
Another story of success to derive from the partnership is Sam Jones. The flanker signed a professional contract with the Knights last season, after a number of positive performances for the first team.
In addition, several college stars have been training with the Knight’s senior side during pre-season with some featuring in our three friendlies.
Doncaster College and University Centre offer students leaving secondary school the chance to balance rugby alongside their studies, as well as the opportunity to make it professional with the Knights.
Chief Executive Tony De Mulder is delighted with the strengthened partnership. “It is a great to have our Knights coaching the next generation of players, there are over 40 players in the academy and are hopefully going to win further silverware next season.”
“It is important to offer teenagers the chance to carry on their education along with a great opportunity to play rugby as well with a route to playing professional rugby.”
“If you’re keen rugby player and want to progress it is a great opportunity and already there has been success with Sam Jones and a number of training with the Knights first team.”
New Head Coach of the Academy squad, Tyson Lewis is excited to take on the role. “The academy has been going four years and I joined because I saw the vision and value of giving young students the chance to pursue their dream as well as gaining an education.”
“I’ve become head coach and I’ll work closely with Clive and the college and looking forward to the step in the unknown with the boys being promoted into a new league and we want to grow the academy, that’ll be done by the success of winning the league and the cup and keep moving forward.”
“It’s vital to keep in touch with the idea that the academy boys and girls are ready to deal with life on and off the pitch and make sure that if that call comes they can play first team rugby.”
Becky Fores of Doncaster College was delighted at the continued partnership and how it’ll develop the academy players.
“This partnership now brings Doncaster College and University Centre inline with the elite education and sporting partnerships who are already established within the UK.
“The new formal academy structure and expert coaching provided through this partnership allows opportunities for our young players to be propelled through the talented athlete pathway into professional sport.
We are excited to now be offering our students rugby opportunities, which we believe are now greater than those offered by colleges and universities who have traditionally excelled in sport.”
18 year-old Seth Adams featured for the Knights in all three pre-season fixtures, scoring one try and five conversions, and will start a joinery course at Doncaster College from September.