London Broncos announce details of new talent pathway as plans for replacement of academy programme emerge

Ben Olawumi
London Broncos badge, Bill Leyland, Mike McMeeken, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook

Bill Leyland (top), Mike McMeeken (bottom left) & Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (bottom right) have all spent time in London Broncos' development programme over the years - Alamy

London Broncos will launch a new ‘talent pathway’ next month, casting their eye over more than 500 youngsters in the local area, following the scrapping of their scholarship & academy programmes.

Back in November, the outfit from the capital announced that their current development model would be changing ahead of 2024 following their promotion back to Super League.

Teams from under-14s level up to under-18s were all impacted, with the conveyor belt of southern talent put on hold, at least for the time being.

Now, via their website, the club have confirmed details of their first steps back towards an all-encompassing model, branded as the ‘Broncos Talent Pathway’.

London Broncos announce details of new talent pathway as plans for replacement of academy programme emerge

The Broncos’ development system has helped to produce Super League stalwarts like Mike McMeeken and the recently retired Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.

Countless other England internationals have also enjoyed stints in London’s development programme, including starlet Kai Pearce-Paul who as of the upcoming season will ply his trade Down Under in the NRL with the Newcastle Knights.

And talents like those may well be able to continue coming through with the club set to host ‘development days’ starting next month. These will span East & West London, and at first will help to identify those from under-12 level up to under-15.

Programmes for under-16s & under-18s are expected to commence later in the year, as detailed by Nash Cohen, who takes on the role of ‘Head of Broncos Talent Pathway’.

Cohen told London’s club website: “We’re really excited to launch our new structure which includes a series of RFL Lions Development Days for under-12, under-13, under-14 & under-15 age groups.

“Our new talent pathway – including our new under-16 & under-18 programmes coming later in 2024 – will allow us to track, monitor and nurture the talent and development of over 500 players in the region, giving a significantly wider range of player development opportunities, than ever before.”

John Keyes – the Broncos‘ Head of Youth & Community – meanwhile added: “We’ve extensively consulted with the RFL and community clubs to understand the landscape and produce something that will not just be top quality, but allow us to set new standards for our youth development programmes.”

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