ACADEMY SEASON REVIEW AND AWARD WINNERS

Published: 6/23/2020

Academy 19-20
 
Last season we won the league and were runners up in the Yorkshire Cup but fell at the first hurdle in the National Cup.
 
This season our target was to do better, to do the double in Yorkshire and get beyond the first round of the National Cup.
 
Our pre-season was well attended and saw the arrival of a number of new players to bolster an already strong squad.
 
Our first warm up game was against Sheffield and we had a storming start with the lads playing a very fast paced attacking game that our visitors could not live with and setting the stall out for the season. We won our 2nd warm up game before heading to York for our first league game. We were missing a few players and despite being comfortably in charge with 20 minutes to go we managed to lose our discipline, gave York a sniff, and ended up losing the game so not the best start to our league campaign!
 
However the lads all fronted up, sorted out the issues and went on to win every game up to Christmas including beating a strong Sandal side in the first round of the National Cup so we had ticked one of the targets off the list!
 
Our first game in January was a double header away at Beverley, being our league game and round 2 of National Cup. We had comfortably beaten Beverley at our place in the league and travelled over with confidence. Unfortunately it was a day that will not be forgotten by any who were involved, indeed many are still receiving counselling! Suffice to say there was a strong feeling that daylight robbery had occurred and despite complaints being raised all the way to Twickenham we had to “suck it up” and move on.
 
Which we did, and went on to win all our remaining games. Like many we saw a number of games cancelled or postponed due to the weather and struggled in the 2nd half of the season to get any rhythm going but when we played the lads always put in a shift and showed the same level of squad spirit that carried us so far last season. They really did themselves and the club proud.
 
Just before the lock down we were confirmed as winners of the league, albeit joint winners with Beverley (though we know who the true winners were!!) and I have no doubt that we would have made it to the Yorkshire Cup Final, and won. I knew last season we had a very talented side and the same was true this season and, just as last year, there were no egos, or prima donnas, and everyone “bought in” to the squad effort, from the lads who only rarely got a game to those who played every game and it’s that mentality and that approach that makes a talented group of players into a very good squad, which is exactly what we had this season, which makes it all the harder that the season had to end the way it did.
 
Congratulations to Billy Summers and Will Dykes for selection to the Yorkshire squad and to Ethan Myers for both county selection and for making into the Carnegie set up. All extremely well deserved.

It’s been great to see a few lads step up to play seniors, for both Falcons and A team with many, such as Joe Morrison, catching the eye. I know all the lads who played made a strong impression, which bodes well for the future.

It has been a pleasure and a privilege once again to be around such a great group of lads and really lays down a gauntlet for next seasons squad.
 
Without doubt, a big factor in our success has been the level of coaching the lads have received and a massive thanks must go to my fellow coaches – Jason Field, Geoff Burrell, Steve Dykes, Neil Summers and Billy Thornton – each and every one has played a big part in giving the lads every opportunity to become the best players, and the best side, possible. Thanks also, as ever, to Tracy Davis for managing the team again and for ensuring everything has run so smoothly – very much appreciated. It’s been an all-round team effort on and off the pitch!!
 
Awards
 
Bob Heppleston Award – for first rate attitude on and off the pitch, approach to the game, commitment, and consistent support for the team throughout the season, even attending training and games to support the lads when injured – Archie North

archie_north
 
Most Improved – a few mentions here of players ‘in the mix’ for this – Fred Wilkinson improved hugely on last season, as did Owen Peacock, but one player stood out above the others and that was Tom Sunderland, who’s work at the lineout and breakdown was a major element of the sides progress

Tom_Sunderland

 

Coaches Player – this player impressed hugely last season and has led from the front all the way from summer training onwards. For a young player he has a very impressive skill set but more importantly he has a mature and level headed approach and the team always comes first. 100% commitment in every game and training session - he has been an excellent skipper and a pleasure to coach. Fantastic kicker, defender, attacker and we are a long way from seeing the best of him yet! A future 1st teamer all the way – Ethan Myers

ethan_myers

Players Player – voted for by his fellow team-mates, and richly deserved – a player who gave 100% all season and another with a very bright future ahead. Looking forward to seeing him develop even more next season – Billy Summers

Billy_Summers

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