McGuire Praises Academy Players Skill And Ability In First Team Set Up

Category: The Club

McGuire Praises Academy Players Skill And Ability In First Team Set Up

Assistant coach, Danny McGuire is thrilled with the progress of Rovers’ Academy players, after inviting them down to last week’s training sessions.

Super League’s all-time leading try-scorer was on hand to pass down his knowledge, along with David Hodgson, Stanley Gene, and Tony Smith, with the coaching staff taken back by the skill of the junior players, despite an 18-month break away from the game.

Keen to fast-track the next generation of players and give them a chance of reaching the first team, McGuire feels the youngsters have what it takes as they went toe to toe with some of the first team players on the paddock.

“It’s brilliant. We started a journey at Rovers at the back end of 2019, but Covid cut that short. It was tough for some of the boys not playing rugby for almost 18 months, but we’ve had them training with the first team and experiencing what it’s like,” said McGuire.

“I’ve got to say that I thought they were outstanding. I’ve got the give a lot of credit to John Bastian, Ben Cockayne, Jason Netherton, and all the other coaches in the academy set up. I think they’ve done a fantastic job physically and I think that there were a few of the guys that were shocked at their strength and ability.

“We’re really pleased. It’s the start of the journey for these young boys and we’re really excited to see them progress.”

Coming through the ranks at the Rhinos and going on the reach the heights of Super League, McGuire knows the feeling of stepping out onto the hallowed turf through the week to put in the professional practice hours for the first time.

“I’ve spoken to a few of the boys after and I think they were genuinely humbled to join the first team set up. We’ve got a really good set of first-team lads here that made them feel welcome, but they just didn’t look out of place one bit which was really pleasing, and that’s a testament to the coaching that they’ve received from the Youth coaches.

“As an academy player, I remember my first time joining the first team, you are a bit nervous and on edge, but it’s a great experience and we look forward to seeing them more this year.

“I think with the situation with Covid, it means that we have to fast-track some of these boys. We have to get them into the system a little quicker – the session last week is a great chance for us to do that.

“I think pre-season training is a big thing for a young player, where you physically develop. I’m really glad that we got the green light for the elite license and there are some really talented players coming through. I think the future looks really bright for young players here at Rovers.”

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