By LARRY ANDREW
AS more and more schoolboys rugby league players burst onto the scene and eventually make it into the senior ranks, this year’s Digicel Cup champions, Lae Snax Tigers, plan to build an academy.
This was revealed to The National by the club’s coach Stanley Tepend, pictured, this week.
He said the franchise would be introducing a junior development programme called the Snax Tigers Academy.
He said the programme was in line with Lae School Boys Rugby League programme that would see the best Under-16s, U17s and U18s picked from schools in Lae. Players must be students to be eligible for selection to the academy.
Tepend said the academy would be headed by national junior coach Dennis Mialls, with the support ofsenior Tigers coaching staff.
“The academy’s programmes will collaborate with the school calendars and programmes already in place through PNGRFL and Lae Snax Tigers,” Tepend said.
He said the idea of the academy was to have players attending the institution play for Snax Tigers two to three years after the programme.
It is also designed to teach young players to be good role models.
“We want to make young players understand the key areas to be part of a Digicel Cup side and also have good school grades by balancing both activities. We already have programmes in place so this will work along with players being in the system,” Tepend said.
He said players would not get any financial benefits but be monitored closely by Snax Tigers management.
The training session would be in line with senior Tigers players training schedules to make it easier for them to conduct.
“Full details of dates and certain areas are still being ironed out but this is a great opportunity for the juniors in Lae,” Tepend said.
By LARRY ANDREW