The Albion Academy bears fruit for the 2019/2010 season
The new Plymouth Albion Academy ended its first season in good form with an increase in the number of young players taking part, two new signings for the club and strengthening links with partners Babcock International and Marjon University.
Plymouth Albion winger Josh Skelcey has played a crucial role in its development, coaching in the club’s community department and as Head Coach for the Marjon University and Albion Under 18s team.
Josh, 24, knows what a difference a Rugby Academy can make to a young player. He started playing at 13 where his potential was spotted early on and he joined the Academy at Premiership side Northampton Saints. He subsequently played in the European Championships and toured South Africa with the 2013 England U18 squad.
“The Academy at Plymouth Albion has gone really well since we set it up,” Josh says. “We are doing training sessions every other week and more and more boys have become involved. We are encouraging them to stay on playing with local clubs and schools, but it does enable us to keep this young talent in Plymouth. That’s our main goal.
“I wish I’d had the opportunity to play with a top local rugby club. There are certainly some young players at the Academy who show real promise and progress.
“We’ve got about 35 players on our books, which is fantastic considering we started out in September with about 20. We want to give them quality sessions they can learn from, but the real reward has to be playing a game.
“Our first U18s game was against Cornwall U17s at the Brickfields which gave the lads a chance to play at home. Then we had a tough game against Matt Shepherd’s Ivybridge side. They’ve been playing together all season, but we did do better in the second half.
“I’d like them to be playing a game every other month or so. It’s important they get rewarded as a team. They’re getting good quality training and they’re hungry to play. We’ve just got to work out the calendar and make sure it fits with Albion and that the schools and clubs are happy.”
Following on from the academy successes, there are two players that have now been signed to play for Plymouth Albion during the 2019/2020 season, they are; Pete Ingoldsby & Seb Tooke.
Josh is impressed with the two signings to Albion, commenting on Pete Ingoldsby; “We’re really pleased with Pete’s signing, he’s played for Exmouth and the Canadian U20 international team. He’s currently at Marjon University where we look after the coaching of their rugby team, so it’s a good connection for us.”
Originally a flanker, he now plays as a hooker and he’s very excited about joining Albion, stating “I absolutely can’t wait for the opportunity and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to play for Plymouth Albion”
Commenting on Seb Tooke, England Counties under 18, Josh said; “Seb is one to watch”, further commenting “Seb is a prop who is showing great promise already. Good props are like gold dust and he’s done exceptionally well. Having now signed for Plymouth Albion, Seb now has the opportunity to push on and show everyone the talent he has.”
Above: Pete Ingolgsby
Above: Pete Ingoldsby
Above: Seb Tooke
Above: Seb Tooke