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ACADEMY: Whitehaven Development Centre going well

10 July 2014

An update on the Academy Development Centre in Whitehaven

Last year the CUFC Academy set up a Development Centre in Whitehaven to give players outside the Carlisle area an academy style centre closer to home. 

We caught up with academy coach Ben Benson for an update now the new centre is 12 months down the line.

"It's been almost a year since we set up our West Cumbrian Development Centre and we've been really pleased with how it's gone," he said. 

"The whole premise of the the centre was to provide u8-u11 players with more provision in areas of the county where they struggle to commit to the academy either due to financial, parental or travelling commitments. 

"These players now have an academy style centre on their doorstep which we see as beneficial for us as a club and the grassroots players." 

"We also wanted to provide the players with more training each week and give these clubs a clearer picture of how and when we recruit players," he added.

"We're now in a position, within the foundation phase, to let clubs know around March time that they may have players joining up with us for the following season. 

"This is hopefully seen as a positive step, particularly when we need to approach a player. Some players may be recruited outside of these windows but we are endeavouring to change our approach so that everyone knows where they stand."

"Up to press we have had six players signed, from the Whitehaven Development Centre to the main academy, and we have another six going on trial in August this year," he explained.

"We now have a clearly defined playing style that our parents and players have really bought into because we make sure we aren't results driven. It's all about player development. 

"Our games programme is a very important part of the development process and I'd like to thank all of the teams we've played against for coming along to play us.

"I must also thank the Community Sports Trust for their support in the running of our Whitehaven Development Centre. They have been a great help and a lot of credit must go to Halpy [John Halpin] and the staff for allowing us to keep the programme running. 

"We're all delighted that the programme will be starting up again this September."

And on the Carlisle based development centre, Ben Benson said: "The Carlisle centre is now going into its third season and we already have players lined up to play for us. 

"The ethos remains the same but we only cater for current u7/u8 players. The success of the Carlisle based development centre is excellent with 80% of players we see progressing to the foundation phase of our Academy.  

"We look forward to another promising season with the development centres and I must thank the players, parents and their clubs for the support they have given us."

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