Tigers retain Elite Academy Licence

Posted: Friday 4th June 2021 - 4:00 PM

The Club would like to place on record a thank you to everyone who showed their support of the Tigers Academy at this time, including Castleford fans, local community clubs, the Castleford Tigers Supporters Club, the wider rugby league community, and our local MP Yvette Cooper. All the support given has been greatly appreciated by everyone involved at Castleford Tigers Rugby League Football Club.

Speaking on behalf of the Club’s Board of Directors, Castleford Tigers Managing Director Mark Grattan said: “After a tremendous amount of dialogue over the last fortnight, we are delighted to be able to announce that Castleford Tigers Academy has its justly deserved elite status.

“Castleford Tigers will work with the RFL over the next two years to ensure that our Elite Academy Licence will remain with the Club for the next six years, as the sport of rugby league at all levels has a duty to grow the community game and increase the player participation pool.

Head of Youth Performance at Castleford Tigers Darren Higgins commented on the news saying: “After a very difficult two weeks, the retention of Castleford’s Elite Academy Licence is fantastic news and will allow the Club to continue its youth development provision, which has continually progressed year on year.

 “Every member of our 45 strong staffing structure will continue to work hard to provide the best possible environment for our aspiring young players and we look forward to seeing even more of our Academy products progressing through the ranks and playing First Team rugby at Castleford Tigers.”

The Rugby Football League released the following statement regarding the news which you can read below:

The RFL has extended timelines within proposals for Academy Licensing from 2022 following extensive consultation.

Probationary Elite licences have been awarded to Bradford Bulls, Castleford Tigers and Hull Kingston Rovers – the three clubs who currently hold Academy Licences and had not been awarded an Elite Academy Licence under the initial proposals.

These are initially for a two-year period (2022-23), and the clubs’ progress during that period will be kept under regular review.

The RFL will also work with Leigh Centurions and Salford Red Devils, whose applications to launch an Elite Academy Licence from 2022 had also been unsuccessful, to consolidate their Development Academies, and develop their surrounding community playing base.

The decision to award Elite Academy Licences for 2022-27 to 10 clubs – Catalans Dragons, Huddersfield Giants, Hull FC, Leeds Rhinos, London Broncos, Newcastle Thunder, St Helens, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors – is unaffected.

The recently concluded Academy Licensing process was agreed in partnership with the clubs involved and promoted within it an ability to challenge the outcome as a natural extension of the process.

Dave Rotheram, the RFL’s Chief On-Field Officer, said: “We are pleased that it has been possible to reach this agreement for the benefit of all, while respecting the process that led to the initial decision.

“The RFL will work with all five clubs to address their specific circumstances. All have responded to these challenges with impressive energy, which has earned these opportunities.

“There is a recognition by all now that Elite should mean Elite – and that everyone involved has a responsibility to protect and grow the sport from Community right through to the professional ranks and our national teams.

“That means either restricting the number of full-time licensed Academies or demonstrating an ability to increase the pool of players available for them.

“That is now the challenge for the whole game – and one in which all clubs recognise they must play their part, with the increase in standards of Academies a key part of that.

“The standards will not be diluted, and every Academy Licence holder will be held to account under the terms of the Licence agreement.”

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