Betts: Widnes academy link boosts chances for Cumbrian youth

Widnes coach Denis Betts has asserted that the club’s takeover of the running of the Cumbrian Regional Academy will provide plenty of young players with the chance to reach Super League.

The Vikings already have a highly rated youth set-up, and Betts believes that Cumbrian youth can also benefit from that expertise.

“We believe that through our status as an ‘outstanding’ academy, that we need to expand,” he said.

“We need to use that quality that we’ve got, and experience that we’ve had to get to this stage, and pass that on into the Cumbrian Academy.

“To create a pathway for Cumbrian players and talent to see a way into a Super League side.

“We felt that it was right for us. We’ve thrown a lot in there, we’ve pushed really hard.

“We’re committed to the whole structure. We’re not just going up there looking to bring players out of Cumbria.

“We’re looking to generate an environment where Cumbrian players can get better.

“Then, if they don’t make it into Super League, or they can’t find a pathway into Super League, they can play for Whitehaven, Workington and Barrow.

“There is plenty of potential there, and lots of players, and we’re going to there to find those players and give them an opportunity to play Super League.”

Betts and the coaching hierarchy from Widnes will also be spending plenty of time in Cumbria, working with local coaches and players.

“Well be spending time up there on camps,” he said.

“We’ll be assessing and monitoring everything that goes on up there.

“We’re engaged. It’s not just us cherry picking. We’re looking to develop their players as best as we possibly can.”

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