With Saracens due to play on Sunday I was free to make my way to The Stonex Stadium to watch 2 groups of young players involved in the Saracens Junior Academy Pathway. I’m going to cheat and take some info from the Saracens Academy website –
THE SARACENS ACADEMY HAS A STRONG AND PROUD TRADITION OF PRODUCING HOMEGROWN PLAYERS. CURRENTLY 51% OF THE SENIOR SQUAD FALL IN TO THIS CATEGORY, HAVING PROGRESSED THROUGH THE ACADEMY TO SIGN A SENIOR CONTRACT.
‘The Saracens Academy exists to find, develop and retain players and staff that will contribute to a successful Saracens team (both domestically and in Europe) for the foreseeable future. These people will protect and grow the Saracens culture and values.
Saracens is one of 14 RFU licensed Academies and covers Hertfordshire and areas of Essex and Kent.’
There’s more information on the programme here https://www.saracens.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Saracens-Academy_Pathway.pdf. I met Joe Clarke the Lead `Coach in Essex and hope to have a longer conversation to learn more about how things are done in Essex in particular.
I saw some real talent out ob the pitch at Stonex and saw some great tries scored, for now I’m going to share the photos I took and I’ll be looking forward to finding out more. I was there to watch the son of a friend, you’ll be able to spot him from a run of photos, he went on a great run ,that had to be captured.