RFL award Castleford Tigers with Elite Academy Licence after controversy in 2021 which left them “devastated”

Castleford Tigers have been granted an Elite Academy Licence from the Rugby Football League until the end of the 2027 season.

Back in May 2021, the Tigers were not awarded an Elite Academy Licence for the period of 2022 through to 2027 in a move that left them “devastated”. However in June 2021, following mass support shown from the Castleford fanbase and wider rugby league community, plus all the hard work of the Club in communication with the RFL, a Probationary Elite Licence was granted for 2022 and 2023.

In the last 18 months, the Tigers have put further emphasis and importance on our Youth Development and Pathways with more routes than ever before available to develop on and off-field careers as part of a comprehensive programme for young players.

Castleford has a proud history of local young talent coming through the ranks and playing for the First Team, with many of the Club’s most highly regarded stars during its history coming from the town and developing in our systems.

“For the community of Castleford, it is absolutely huge, the richness of the talent that we have around the area, the number of clubs, it really is imperative that there is an Elite Academy here. We talk about community clubs but it’s the schools as well, it’s massive news,” Head of Youth Rob Nickolay explained.

“We need to look at how we meet our players’ needs, but our players are not just the young men or women in our teams it is a lot wider than that. How we meet the needs of the players from schools or the community game and how we invest in bringing that talent through to foster it here. Therefore, the whole community plays its part. That was something I’ve been really passionate about when I came in, getting into the grass roots clubs, finding out what they need from us and what we can do better. That is still a journey we’re on, we are still striving for more and we saw a big link earlier this year with our #CasRoots programme to celebrate the community, and that’s what we are about because we have that heritage locally too that we need to channel.”

Castleford Tigers Head Coach Lee Radford firmly expressed his joy at the announcement and reaffirmed his desire for more young players to break through and play for his First Team at Wheldon Road.

“All of us at the Tigers are over the moon, it was a massive disappointment last year to come in and find out the news that the licence was going to be taken away from us, but I think it is a credit to a lot of the hard work that has gone on with our club, the Foundation and Rob Nickolay.

“I am an advocate for the game in general and bringing the kids through. I think as a sport we have not got enough participants playing at the moment. The more we get, the better the youth system is, and the better that is then the better the end product is – it is a long-term philosophical view, but I think it is the right one.”

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2 months ago

More jobs for the boys!