Yorkshire Carnegie have expanded their Academy programme with the appointment of joint managers Jon Pendlebury and Ben Lazenby to head up the vital element of the club’s development programme.
Pendlebury (Academy Manager – Players) and Lazenby (Academy Manager – Programmes & Pathways) will replace former Academy Director Andy Rock with two new coaching appointments set to be announced to expand the full time team working with young players at the club.
The Academy programme at Yorkshire Carnegie has been recognised as one of the outstanding academies in the country having produced England internationals likes Danny Care, Luther Burrell and Paul Hill amongst others along with a host of England age group players over the last two decades.
By splitting the leadership role between Pendlebury and Lazenby, the club hopes to be able to fully integrate the player development pathways in partnership with the RFU and PRL across the county.
Former Carnegie player Pendlebury has been part of the Academy coaching staff since 2012. He had joined the club originally as a player four years earlier and also played in the Premiership with Gloucester and Rotherham. “This is an exciting opportunity for us as an Academy, a Club and for myself personally as we look to take forward the good work that has been done over this last five years. In my time working in developmental rugby, through the goals set by the RFU and our vision as a Yorkshire academy, we have supported a large number of players from our region. I have had the opportunity to work with some great people and coaches and we now have an excellent group who have supported myself and Ben and enabled us to take this joint management role together."
Keighley-born Lazenby joined Yorkshire Carnegie last year having established a strong reputation for player development during his seven years at Warrington Wolves Rugby League club. “I am delighted to have this opportunity to work with Jon to further progress our academy in the support of talented junior players in Yorkshire. As an academy, we have a rich player pool of potential elite players and we want to ensure that all players who possess the potential to be elite have opportunities through the pathway, supported by experts in their field, to improve and become future players for the club and country, as well as help us achieve our aim of being a premiership club in Yorkshire, populated by Yorkshire players. We are also excited about extending the support from the pathways to ensure a robust county and grassroots game across all of Yorkshire, this way we can make sure that our county continues to be a stronghold of the game in England.”
Moving forwards there will be two additional coaches recruited into the Academy with an academy performance coach, who will be a backs specialist working with U18 and U16 players, and an academy coach development officer whose responsibilities will include coach education in the academy and across the county supporting key stakeholders.
For the 2016-17 season, the England Rugby Developing Players programme (ERDPP) will be based around five centres in the county. This will still allow delivery “on the doorstep” but will also concentrate the potential. The Yorkshire Carnegie Academy will run regular coaching at U14 through to U17 level with talent development days at U13 level to provide the widest base at the lowest level.
A “dual pathway” approach will be taken with streamlining for early identification of players at U15 and U16 into the Yorkshire Carnegie Academy Junior Development Squad programme but with ongoing recruitment and retention in the ERDPP structures the pathway can remain wide to support the development of later developing players. The academy will support both early and late identified players with opportunities to progress into the U18 Junior Academy and potentially beyond with our Senior Academy.