Newcastle Thunder have added one of their top young, local academy talents into the senior squad for the next two seasons, having handed a permanent contract to forward David Weetman.
A product of Thunder’s academy structures, the 19 year-old from Cramlington has impressed throughout his time on the club’s player development pathways with his ability and attitude, earning his professional break after completing his time with the Under 19s.
Adept across the park, Weetman has been settling into the role of loose forward and has been named in the extended 19 man match day squad on a number of occasions in 2017, as he has gained an insight into professional rugby league.
A strong player who runs good lines, Weetman’s early rugby with Cramlington Rockets RLFC saw him play at hooker and in the halves, with a well-developed skill set the result.
Offering plenty off the ball too, Weetman is the latest product of the junior set up at his home town club Rockets, who have also recently seen two of their prospects recently make their debut for England Youth.
“We are exceptionally proud of David” said his Rockets coach, Jordan Robinson.
“We put a big emphasis developing players to make the most of the opportunities and we were thrilled when David was asked to move up to the Thunder Academy.
Since then, we have followed his exploits closely and we hold him up as a good example to our others juniors as to what can be achieved.
We have no doubt he will continue on the same trajectory into the first team and beyond.”
Highly regarded for his attitude, Newcastle Thunder Academy head coach and first team assistant, Michael Heap was also fulsome in his praise of the new addition.
“David is a player with a great attitude and a lot of potential and has worked hard in his time with the academy” he told Thunderrugby.co.uk.
“He is a leader on and off the field and has been captain of our Under 19s side in what has been their strongest season to date.
“He has a good engine and can play big minutes with a number of full 80 efforts this year and with the continued help of his great support networks, can look forward to achieving even more.”