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ROBINSON’S ACADEMY ROUND-UP

13th February 2018

ROBINSON’S ACADEMY ROUND-UP

Luke Robinson looks ahead to the Under 19s first game of the season against Wigan this Thursday

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The Giants Under 19s Academy get their season underway as they welcome the Wigan Warriors to Lockwood Park on Thursday 15th February, 7pm kick-off.

Under 19s Head Coach, Luke Robinson, understands the threat that the visitors will pose but maintains it is a challenge that they fully accept:

“They’re going to be really tough, probably the team to beat this year. I think they have been for the last ten years and they have got a really good youth system."

A lot of work has gone into this first game and the Giants have been working hard in pre-season,as Luke Robinson intends on drilling in some fundamentals into his squad:

“We’ve been working on a lot of different things really. If I’m being honest, it’s been based around a growth mindset, going down the mental side of the game more than anything, as well as the physical. We’ve definitely made strides in our physicality, we are a lot fitter side this year.

“The strength and conditioning Coach has worked really hard on getting them fit and strong, so that is going to stand us in good stead. From my perspective, that growth mindset, I am trying to instil a bit of confidence and a bit of a mindset where every day we turn up to training, it’s not just going through the motions, there’s a purpose and a purposeful practice.

“Everyone knows their job and knows their role. A lot of it has been based around the knowledge of the game.”

Despite Robbo aiming to guide the players to their dream place in the first-team, he has other aims and aspirations in mind for the upcoming season:

“It’s a tricky scenario really, when you’re dealing with the youth. The ultimate goal is to make first-teamers and improve them as individuals rather thsn focus solely on results. I’m always proud when we win, I’ve always considered myself one of those, I just think winning becomes a bit too needy but as a Club we need to start creating that, not only from the first-team, but from the academy down.

“I don’t want to be languishing, I want to be making the play-offs. I want to be challenging for trophies at Academy level and then hopefully that will work its way up when those players become first-team players, but at the end of the day, we are trying to make individuals for the first-team.”

The Academy are back at Lockwood Park for their first game, and the facilities have not gone unnoticed. Robinson also urges all the fans to come out in force to watch the next generation of talent:

“We have the home-advantage. It’s a really good place, for anyone that’s not been there, it’s a great little academy pitch. It’s got a balcony overlooking the clubhouse and the pitch, a big, wide flat surface, that’s going to be in really good nick. The games there are normally free-flowing and good to watch.

“The fans make a big difference and it gives the young lads a bit of confidence. The more fans that can get up there the better the atmosphere will be and the better the lads will play, that’s the same at any level. Fingers crossed we can get as many people up there as we can to support the lads.

“It’s great to go and see what the next generation of Giants players are doing, and I’d like to think we play an expansive, free-flowing rugby. I’m trying to instil that into my players and give them the confidence to play, so there should be some entertaining games.”

The current Academy players will be attempting to emulate the likes of Kruise Leeming, Darnell McIntosh, Sam Wood and Tyler Dickinson, who have all progressed through the academy system and filtered into the first-team:

“We’re producing quality players. That’s the way forward, and the impact on that and the more players that we can get embedded in our system the better it will be for the first-team. Not only the pride of playing for your local team, but also there are salary cap issues, so it is a benefit to everybody really, the more young players that we can get coming through.”

Watching them eagerly, the former Giants hooker is hopeful that some of his playmakers and stars in the making can impress, with some of them being in the last year of their academy career:

“Obviously Sam Hewitt, he got the Players Player of the Year award last season and he’s now a third year. Sam will be looking to stride on, but another name is Tyllar Mellor, there are a lot of third years in a similar position really. They’ve really stepped up this year and they’re looking like good players, the two twins, Louis and Innes Senior, they’re going well and making strides forward. There isn’t one player that stands out, we’ve got a really good bunch that with the right attitude and the right discipline, could make the next step.”

Going into his second full season as Academy Head Coach, Robinson feels that he has progressed and is enjoying the role:

“The attitude that I’m trying to instil in the players is the same as what I’m trying to be myself. I’m really big into this growth mindset and wanting to develop as an individual. I think that as a Coach, I’m extremely happy at where I am, I feel like I’ve done well with the experience that I had from my playing days, from the position that I played, and I think I’ve got a really good insight into the game, but it would be very naïve of me to think that I am the finished article.

“I’d like to think that when I’m 55/60, I’m still not the finished article, and I’m always looking to improve and learn, but I feel good where I am at. I’m actually trying this year to go out and see different organisations, not only rugby ones, but in different sports, and see how they work and how they produce players, because I think it’d be good for the Huddersfield Giants if I could do that.”

 

The address for Lockwood Park is:

Lockwood Park

Brewery Drive

Huddersfield

HD4 6EN

 

Admission prices are:

£3 - Adult Giants Season Ticket Holder

£3.50 - Adult

£2 - Concession Giants Season Ticket Holder

£2.50 - Concessions

U16 - Free of charge

 

Heikki Kovalainen

Fixtures

 

 

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