Hull FC Academy
At Hull FC, a large emphasis is placed on the development of home-grown talent and the number of players in the current first team squad and other professional rugby league clubs highlights the Black and Whites' commitment in this area.
Led by Head of Youth Danny Wilson, the club's youth structures are supported by a number of dedicated volunteers as well as by members of the first team squad.
Following a change to youth development across Super League in 2013, the Black and Whites operate an under-19s and an under-16s side.
THE BEST YOUTH FACILITIES IN SUPER LEAGUE
Hull FC’s academy and scholarship teams are based at some of the best facilities in the game, with dedicated training bases at the Bonus Youth Performance and Community Centre on Pickering Road and also at Bishop Burton College.
Now only the best facilities in the city, they also rival those in the entire Super League competition and ensure the Black and Whites now have an unrivalled base to develop the next generation of rugby league stars.
The facilities at the YPC include a state-of-the-art gymnasium, an indoor sports hall, a sand-based Astroturf pitch, a large field for skills drills and a fully floodlit playing surface.
They are joined by a stunning Olympic-standard sports complex at Bishop Burton College including a floodlit 4G astroturf pitch, full size grass pitches, sports hall, fitness suite and physiotherapy centre, with the college now becoming the full-time home to the club's academy squad, as well as also hosting the scholarship age group throughout the season.
In addition, 17 players from the club's academy are currently undertaking the RFL-commended AASE programme at the college, which includes a specific focus on education and qualifications, as well as allowing the club's performance department to have more direct one-to-one tuition with each player during the week to help them hone and nurture their talent.
Hull FC owner Adam Pearson said, “Identifying more talented home-grown players and giving them the facilities and environment to progress into the first team has become one of the most important issues facing the club since I took over.
“Our youth facilities really were in desperate need of attention, but the opening of the Youth Performance and Community Centre and our exciting partnership with Bishop Burton College is a clear sign that we are progressing in this regard and signals our intent to enhance our junior pathways and develop Super League stars of the future.”
Meanwhile, the Bonus Youth Performance and Community Centre is not only an exciting opportunity for the club’s youth development programmes, it is also the home if the hugely successful Hull FC Foundation and available to members of the local community.
Used by a wide variety of youth clubs and services, the centre houses a wide variety of sports, including football, touch rugby and an ice-hockey scholarship with local club Hull Stingrays, but it is the impact it will have on the club’s youth development that will excite those associated with the club the most.
Hull FC’s Chief Operating Officer, Tony Sutton, said: “In terms of Hull FC, the step up in youth performance facilities really has been massive they present us with a fantastic opportunity to attract the best young talent to this club and then provide them with everything they need to help them reach their potential.”
A number of key partners have also been instrumental in the development of the Youth Performance and Community Centre, including KC, who provided funds for IT technology at the facility, and Ideal Standard, who fitted brand new shower and changing facilities.
Supporters groups the Roy Waudby Foundation and the Vice Presidents Association also played instrumental roles in raising funds for new state-of-the-art gym equipment, which can now be found at the facility.
Representatives of both groups, including former coach Arthur Bunting and Olga Waudby, who remain a close friends of many at the club, were on-hand at the official opening of the facilities earlier this year.