Under 17s Team News

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Justin Clarke named as new Head Coach of the BRFC Academy

Blaydon RFC all delighted to announce that Justin Clarke has been appointed as the new Academy Head Coach for the new season. Justin is a long-term member of Blaydon RFC and having retired from playing last season he is looking for a fresh challenge to utilise his vast experience and enthusiasm for the game.

The Academy will go from strength to strength this season with the addition of the vast majority of the County Cup winning U16 team, who were coached by Keith Robinson and Ian Kelly joining up with a strong group of players from Steve Davidson and Paul Winter’s group. I understand that the Academy pool of players will be in excess of 30 going forward, which is fantastic news for the long-term development of home-grown players, who are the future generation for BRFC.

For those of you who don’t know Justin, please find below a quick Q&A, which will provide you with some more information on a long standing, well respected and familiar face at the club.

-Name: Justin Demarkus Clarke
-Age: 44
-Position’s Played: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and let’s not forget 14 for the Blaydon Bricks on my gentle return to playing.
-Highest Level Played: National 1 with Blaydon and Durham County
-Clubs Played for: Blaydon RFC, Moortown RFC

-Role Model & Why

No single role model, I tend to like bits of what people do. Obama overcame the divisions of a nation to become the first black president of America, Jonny – The LEGEND – Wilkinson, combined talent and total dedication to become the best he could be, winning a World Cup and many other honours. More recently a local business owner faced with the challenge of Covid-19 yet finds the courage to feed the local community. There’s a lot to admire.

-Coaching Philosophy:

Train hard, play hard and have fun. Set the standard, raise the standard, push boundaries and believe anything is possible.

-What do you like about Blaydon?

Blaydon is my rugby home. I’ve learned a lot about life and rugby over the last 25 years. I’ve experienced the success of promotions, played at Twickenham and battled it out to avoid relegation. There have been so many people along the way providing support, guidance and encouragement. All with the best interests of the club at heart. Bit of a cliché but it sounds like a family to me.

-Why did you take this role?

Perfect timing. I’ve just retired from playing for the second time. It’s time to test myself as a coach and see if I can guide a young group of players the way I’ve been guided.

-Any other comments?

It is a true honour to be asked to coach Blaydon’s Academy. I have that feeling of nervous excitement I used to get before every game. I’m looking forward to getting to know the team, working with the coaches and to a successful season ahead both on and off the pitch.

All at BRFC would like to take this opportunity to wish Justin all the best in his new role and the Academy will be in good hands moving forward with Keith Robinson, Steve Davidson (Chester) and Paul Winter assisting with the coaching. This could actually be a golden era for the Academy as our current U16s/U15s squads have huge numbers and they are both strong groups backed by a talented group of coaches.

BRFC U17s v Sunderland

BRFC U17’s Move Into Semi Finals of the County Cup

Sunderland RFC U17 7 – 51 Blaydon RFC U17 – County Cup Quarter Final – Sunday November 10th

Match summary from Steven Davidson

Today we got all of our u17s together who were fit or able to play. We were pleased to welcome Tristan back who was able to help us out in the centres (he did more than that scoring 2 of our fist 3 tries) and setting our tempo which we were able to keep throughout the game.
The forwards were immense today winning scrums against the head and annihilating a much bigger pack in all aspects of the game. The two Props Kieron and Kelvin played the full game and made hard yards and big hits throughout. Hooker Sabbi had a great game scoring a try from a lovely Liam kick through, but also showing excellent physicality in defence.
The 2nd rows Matty Woods and Ethan both notched and Ethan managed a hattrick. Both very powerful and brave throughout.
The back row of Joey, Richie and Jacob, who was my star player today, were absolutely everywhere tackling, bashing the ball up, popping up in the backs and generally breaking up anything Sunderland tried.
Liam linked play well and sniped when needed. His kick for Sabbi ‘s try was class and he even survived an attempted decapitation.
Harvey did us a solid playing the whole game out of position at fly half but you’d think he played their all of the time. He kicked well and often the timing of his passes for people to run onto was superb and kept us hitting the gaps.
Jack and Kerem two of our top team wingers ended up playing together for a while in the centres and made some good breaks, but the best bit was their tackling which stopped Sunderland’s main weapon in attack straight away.
The wingers and fullback Kris, Ewan and Nathan, ran back all of Sunderland’s desperation clearance kicks with interest and defended well.
The coaching team are really chuffed with the performance from the lads as there were no rests for anyone and they put in a tremendous shift.

Details of the Semi Final to follow soon

Points- Tries Ethan x 3, Jacob, Matty Woods, Sabbi, Tristan x 2 and Harvey. Plus Harvey 3 conversions

BRFC U17s v Sunderland  BRFC U17s v Sunderland BRFC U17s v Sunderland

Academy v WHRFC Nat Cup

BRFC Academy Progress to National Cup Round 2

West Hartlepool U18 5-28 Blaydon Academy

Firstly what a fantastic result bearing in mind the Academy are still suffering from a massive injury list and had a number of players unavailable on our National Cup weekend. Many thanks to Jason Dube for getting Vusi down to Hartlepool when he got a late cover for his shift and to Kris who missed a family meal to play.
In awful conditions on a very heavy pitch the lads were in total control of the game for large periods, hampered by excellent defence by the home side and the lack of a little luck and a bit of guile.
Evan scored 4 tries in typical unstoppable fashion once our pressure had stretched their big lads from side to side and constantly battering them.
Kelvin was excellent at turning over the ball. Adam was a constant menace to them in the lineout. Bradley drove 5 of their players off the pitch by himself at one point. Richie captained the side well and ran some hard yards.
We kicked 100%of our conversions. Good to have Matty back!!!
Many thanks to Steve Davidson for providing the match report and he has informed me that the next round will be at BRFC on November 17th, details of kick off time and opposition to follow. It would be great to get some support down to Crowtree’s to cheer on the Academy side.

Academy v WHRFC Nat CupAcademy v WHRFC Nat Cup

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