Head of Youth Development Rob Powell has described the partnership between the Broncos Academy and the RAA as “an exciting development” following a 3-year agreement at the home of RFU Championship club, Richmond FC.
The Richmond Athletic Ground, based a short distance from the train station, will become not only the training venue for the 70+ Academy players at the club but also the Home Match venue for both the Academy and Scholarship teams.
The fantastic transport links and location were significant factors in the decision – making process along with the opportunities which the vast facility provides.
Powell told londonbroncosrl.com “We are extremely excited about the partnership with the RAA. I have been involved at this club for 20 years and as an Academy we have never been as fortunate with the location of our training and playing venue. We will be a very short walk from Richmond Station from where you can get to Clapham in 8 minutes and Waterloo in 15 minutes on National Rail and there is also London over ground and underground services available. This extensive public transport network and proximity to the M3 and M25 mean it is really accessible for our players who come from all over London and the South East. From a facility point of view we will have access to a first class gym, multiple floodlit pitches, medical rooms and space for video analysis and player meetings so it ticks all the boxes.
Only a short distance from the clubs first team training facility and with a new administration office based in Richmond the club is now in full swing for 2021 and Powell hopes to see a full set of fixtures for both the Academy and Scholarship with their games being played at Richmond for the next 3 seasons at least.
Powell added “We await further information from the RFL but we hope that we will be playing something like a normal programme of games for both our Academy and Scholarship teams. Whilst there won’t be an opportunity to play curtain raisers to first team games as we have at times in recent year’s we hope that Richmond will become a popular venue to watch Academy and Scholarship games. It gives parents, club supporters and members of the wider London Rugby League community the opportunity to watch the clubs stars of the future at a great venue ”
As with the First Team the usual pre-season start time has been significantly delayed and the Academy training is now scheduled to start in early March under RFL and DCMS guidance.
Powell said “It will be pretty much 12 months since we were last together. The players and staff are chomping at the bit to get back into the swing of things. There is clearly going to be significant requirements from a COVID point of view and we will ensure that we provide a safe environment for our players and their families. From a well being point of view the physical activity and mental stimulation the programme provides is really important so we look forward to welcoming everyone back”