Eastern Counties Elite Player Development Group manager Simon Sinclair says that this year’s move to Colchester RFC will help the Saints expand their work in that area of the club’s Academy region.
The move to Colchester has coincided with the Saints being allocated an area of north Essex to work in, alongside the existing counties of Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, and Sinclair says that the new venue offers good accessibility as well as a superb place to train.
“We’ve moved to Colchester this year, where the facilities are fantastic,” he says in this week’s The Saints TV Show. “They’ve got three floodlit pitches, which gives us scope to move around, it’s close to the A12, and with our Academy expanding into north Essex as part of the new agreement it brings us closer to that area as well.”
The youngsters in the Eastern Counties Elite Player Development Group are following in the footsteps of a number of full-time professionals who have come through the ranks, including hooker Mikey Haywood and flanker Lewis Ludlam.
“The ultimate goal is to become a professional rugby player with Northampton Saints,” Sinclair adds. “Mikey is the standout, Lewis has done really well, and six from the EPDG last year have got professional contracts. It’s good for the players to see that there is a pathway, and hopefully we can get as many boys through to the first team as possible.”
The full feature about the club’s new Elite Player Development Group centre at Colchester RFC is in this week’s The Saints TV Show.