Trio of teams give Thunder matchday milestone

With ambitions to win Betfred Super League by 2030, Sunday’s Betfred League 1 match-day against Workington Town marks a significant milestone in the development of Newcastle Thunder.

For the first time in the club’s history three separate teams, U18s, Reserves and First Team will play fixtures at Kingston Park Stadium on the same day. In a huge boost to the game in the north east almost 70% of the players on show will be either local or academy produced.

It is another impressive demonstration of the ambitions held by Thunder, who after being granted admission into the new-look Reserve grade competition now boast a complete player development pathway.

Starting with monthly, open-access player development programmes for U12s and U14s, the club operates academy teams at U16 & U18 levels.

Players can then progress into Reserves and First Team, giving players from the North East and beyond an outlet to fulfil their ambitions. 
With continued growth of the grassroots game in the region, where participation numbers have risen by 40% in the last five years and 16 community clubs now have over 1,400 players enjoying the game, the North East has solid foundations for sustainable, long term growth.

Newcastle Thunder chairman Mick Hogan said: “There are some exciting times ahead for rugby league in our region and the teams named for Sunday show how it is growing. 
“Across three teams of 51 players, 35 of them are either from the local area or have come through Thunder’s academy and that is incredibly important for where we want to go as a club and take the sport to.

“With new junior clubs forming in North Tyneside, the west end of Newcastle and the Tyne Valley, that next generation of players have something to aspire to in their home region.

“Whilst we’re rightly proud of the club’s development, it is just the start of our next steps. 

With four full time members of staff in our community team and big events coming to the region in the next 18 months, we are well placed to ensure this growth and development of local talent continues.”