SquadBuilder, the fund-raising arm of Warrington Wolves Supporters’ Trust, continues to help the club develop home-grown talent.
The SquadBuilder scheme has gone a long way towards making the club the success it is today by supporting many players over the years, including current first team squad players Mike Cooper, Chris Riley, Tyrone McCarthy, Lee Mitchell, Matty Blythe, Ben Harrison and Rhys Williams as well as the young squad members hoping to break through: Rhys Evans, Ben Evans, Jamie Peasnell, Craig Harvey, Gareth O’Brien, James Laithwaite and Ryan Shaw.
SquadBuilder was established as a means of keeping local players local and fulfilling the need to develop Warrington trained players. In the early years the members looked to incentivise and help local players within the sport, working from the bottom up to build a pyramid of talent within the club.
Warrington is renowned for being a Rugby League town and by supporting and investing in home-grown players the club could, and continues to, raise this profile and interest in the game.
Over the years the number of players sponsored by Squadbuilder has increased with the focus moving towards investing in the team as a whole by promoting team spirit within the amateur level. The club is continually looking to strengthen the youth system and over the past few years SquadBuilder has played a big part in the development of young players by funding training and team building visits. This in turn is providing a strong foundation for the future of the club.
The SquadBuilder scheme currently has circa 200 members including many club representatives and staff. Contributions from these members help to raise thousands of pounds each year. Supporters’events, including Fans’ Days and Quiz Nights, also help to raise funds.
Roy Chicken of the Supporters’ Trust and SquadBuilder said: “There was a lot of pride back in 2009 when we saw four SquadBuilder players play in the Challenge Cup Final success. We hope the success of the scheme continues and would like to see even more people get onboard. The scheme enables Wolves’ supporters to actively contribute to the development, coaching and promotion of young local players at all levels. Developing a team of Warrington trained players still remains the ultimate ambition.”
Laura Harrison, Rugby League Development Manager, added: “Warrington really is one of the leading Rugby League Supporters’ Trusts when it comes to assisting and developing local talent. They’re a benchmark for other Supporters’ Trusts and it’s great to see Supporters’ Trust having so much success. It just goes to show how effective they can be in influencing the direction of their clubs.”
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