With the World Cup underway in Australia and Bradford boys John Bateman and Elliott Whitehead doing us proud Down Under, our Bulls Foundation coaches were hard at work putting the next level of talent through their paces as part of the national England Talent Pathway.
Last week was half-term and, with the kids away from school, we took the opportunity to invite some of the most promising rugby league talents in Bradford in for a few elite training sessions at the Bulls Training Centre in Tong.
We let the budding stars roam free on the equipment that is usually only used by own professional Bulls players, giving the youngsters a taste of life as a full-time rugby league pro. We held two training sessions, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday, that introduced the kids to the sort of intensity and high-level coaching that they would experience if they progressed into the Bradford Bulls Academy and, potentially, the Bulls team itself.
The sessions focus on skills coaching, movement skills, mental preparation and coachability and the aim is to develop future England players and the Bulls have produced many of those, in particular – John Bateman, Elliott Whitehead, Cameron Scott and Jake Truman who are all Bradford-born.
“The RFL England talent Pathway partnership will support the progress and development of junior players and coaches throughout the community and secondary schools,” said the Bulls’ Head of Youth, John Bastian.
Several local boys at U15 level were identified through the ETP programme in 2017 and scholarships were not just offered by Bradford Bulls, but also Super League clubs like Wakefield Trinity, Castleford Tigers, Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants, all whom have spotted the talent available.
Thank you to everyone who took part last week – we’re looking forward to the next time already!