Warrington Wolves head coach Daryl Powell says the club are on the right tracks in replicating the academy success that has been seen at the likes of Wigan, Leeds and St Helens.
Powell, 57, previously coached the Rhinos early in his career, working with the likes of rising stars at the time Kevin Sinfield, Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire.
Warrington youngster Lucas Green was handed his first team debut by Powell earlier this season, with five appearances to his name to date and impressive displays.
Adam Holroyd and Luke Thomas made their first appearances last season, with Powell excited with what the future holds for the youngsters at the Halliwell Jones Stadium side.
The Wolves are currently light on numbers due to suspensions and injuries, while Thomas Mikaele and Josh McGuire were both released from their contracts earlier this year.
Warrington Wolves boss on player pathway ambitions
“The things that St Helens and Wigan and probably Leeds have done, they have bigger squads because their young players show that they’re capable of doing their job,” Powell told Love Rugby League.
“That’s what we’re trying to get to.
“An amazing job is being done in our youth development department. That takes a while to come to fruition, but with Lucas coming through this year, Adam Holroyd has done a decent job for us and we’ve got Tom Whitehead in and around it.
“That starts to grow your depth and that’s what we’re trying to do with the quality of depth that we’ve got through our young players, and the more they get opportunities, the better off we’ll be.
“Back in the day, I was involved with a lot of those young guys who came through the Leeds system before the golden generation. I coached a fair bit of the golden generation.
“It’s crucial, because it’s a long season with injuries and you might want to rest players, and the depth that you’ve got through the young players makes a huge difference in being consistent throughout the season.
“It’s an important part of what we’re doing.”
Powell lays down challenges
Powell further laid down challenges for his youngsters, with Sam Kasiano and James Harrison set to miss this Friday’s Super League clash with St Helens at the Halliwell Jones Stadium due to suspensions.
Back-rower Holroyd, 19, was named to start for last week’s fixture with Leeds, with 18-year-old prop forward Green set to return to first team action.
“We get some troops back in the next few weeks and the challenge to the young boys is to stay in there, be good enough to stay in there.
“Rugby league is a game where you get your effort levels right and you can do special things, it doesn’t matter how old you are.
“It’s important that those guys go into it wanting to stay in the team, I think that’s key.”