Blyth RFC recently formed an under-17s academy in a working partnership with four local high schools – Cramlington Learning Village, Blyth School, St Benet Biscop and Bede Academy.
The academy is coached by Mick Sutherland and managed by Mick Rose and they train alongside the senior club on Thursday evenings, allowing the younger players to learn the same type of play as the seniors, and to help them mix in socially after training.
This is aimed at hopefully helping them move smoothly up into senior rugby.
And the academy received a grant from Northumberland Rugby Charitable Trust allowing them to purchase a new set of strips.
At the beginning the first week only seven players turned up for an away game to Acklam – which had to be cancelled – but the following week 12 turned up and they travelled to Gateshead, who lent players to equal the teams.
Last week for a game against Darlington, Blyth had a squad of 18, and with confidence growing they are slowly building up the squad and looking forward to future games.