It was a session to remember for Brotherton Bulldogs under 14 side whose training was slightly different to normal. They were joined by Castleford Tigers’ First Team players Jake Trueman and Daniel Smith who got themselves involved in the local club’s session.
Speaking about his evening with some of his idols, Brotherton Bulldogs captain Lawson said: “Yes it’s been good to have them down tonight, they’ve been getting involved and teaching us which is special especially given the role that they have.
“They have been telling us about their amateur career and their journey growing up playing rugby – it’s been fascinating to find out.”
The session included some basic passing drills followed by small-sided attack vs defence and finishing on a game of touch rugby. Both Jake and Daniel were a part of small conversations with the Bulldogs, and it was clear they were absorbing every piece of advice. One attribute Bulldogs player Blayne wanted guidance on was his aggression as he explained.
“I’ve asked them how to control my aggression and running the ball in – areas that I need to work on at the moment.
“It’s been great for the lads to get some of the professionals down tonight to see how we play.”
Developing stronger links with the local community clubs is something Castleford Tigers Foundation believes is vital to the growth of the game and nurturing new, emerging talent. Head Coach of Brotherton Bulldogs Simon Jarvis was delighted by the involvement of Castleford Tigers and said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant. I think it’s great for the kids to see their idols who they see on a match day.
“This is where the Super League players started, at grassroots rugby. It’s all right us telling the players what to do in order for them to reach their goals, but when they’ve got players like Jake and Daniel coming down, they can see it and believe it for themselves then.
“There’s been some really strong feedback from the lads, and it’s all been positive. It’s great for the game.”
Castleford Tigers First Team attendee, Daniel Smith, was a product of the system at local club Lock Lane, before joining the academy at Leeds Rhinos. The 28-year-old recalled memories of playing on pitches alike the one at Brotherton as well as the importance of professional clubs’ relationship with community clubs.
“It’s massive because of the huge interest in playing sport and growing the game. There’s not as many kids playing now as there was when I was playing so there needs to be a real focus on getting kids playing again.
“I used to love it coming down to my community club. I played at Lock Lane and I used to play on fields like this every week. It fetches back a few memories playing touch rugby with the lads here, it’s really enjoyable.”
To find out more information about Castleford Tigers Foundation’s link with community clubs, contact [email protected].