Wigan youth system paying dividends, says Charnley


Wigan’s Josh Charnley has paid tribute to the work of owner and chairman Ian Lenagan over the development of the clubs youth system.

Over the past few seasons, Wigan have unearthed and nurtured local talent who have played for their local amateur teams and then gone on to represent their club and country, Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley and Captain Sean O’Loughlin but to name a few.

“It’s massive,” said the 21-year-old. “From no-one knowing me three years ago to being top try scorer in Super League and now I am representing my country and being named in the England squad.

“It’s big; hopefully a lot of people can look at that and do more themselves.”

Local amateur clubs St Patricks and St Judes have consistently fed the 19-time champions and Charnley knows that this link is vital if the Warriors are to continue competing at the top of Super League.

“Ian Lenagan has got it all up and running now. He has just opened up a school, like a little college, so all the young lads that they sign can go there and do a course during the day, then go training at night.

“The development at Wigan is getting bigger and a lot of people want to be at Wigan, so it’s in good stead for young players that we sign from Wales, as we’ve got a connection down there.

“It’s just easing them up into Wigan. We’ve got a lot of young lads coming through, the under 18’s and under 21’s did really well so the future is looking bright for Wigan.”

Testament to the clubs faith in their youth, Wigan recently announced the signing of six young players from their academy and reserve sides, agreeing full-time contracts in the process.


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