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The leading rugby teams in Bedford are joining up to ensure that the best emerging talent continues to be developed in the town.
Bedford Blues, Bedford Athletic and Junior Blues have been working for some time to produce a plan which will see all three organisations working closer together for the good of rugby in the town. The relationship will provide an opportunity for rugby players to continue playing in a safe environment whilst having access to a high level of coaching, to act as a structured feeder system to ultimately provide the opportunity to play for Bedford Blues.
From the start of this season, 2012/13, the Junior Blues Under 17s and 18s squads will combine to create a Colts team which will play under the name of Bedford Athletic Blues, based at Bedford Athletic. The new team will also take a spot in the National Colts Cup – a competition that the Blues Academy can no longer participate in.It is hoped that the new venture will create the opportunity and a clear pathway for players to continue playing the sport in Bedford by progressing into the Blues Academy and then on to represent Bedford Athletic, Bedford Blues, or even both.
Speaking about the new endeavour, Bedford Blues chairman Geoff Irvine said: “This new approach between three Bedford clubs will create a sustainable future for local rugby talent and ensure that the town’s fine rugby tradition continues.
“I think that the Bedford Athletic Blues will offer the opportunity for youngsters to continue playing at a strong level and hopefully go on to become rugby stars of the future.”
Marcus Buckle, Director of Rugby for Bedford Junior Blues, added: “This new approach means that there will now be a pathway for youngsters to continue playing rugby and for volunteer coaches to further their careers. This is a massive step forward for rugby in Bedford.”
Bedford Athletic Blues – which will be registered in two National Leagues - will benefit from the support and coaching staff of the Blues Academy and Bedford Athletic while being headed by Chris O’Dell who was Head Coach of the Under 16s Junior Blues last season.
Anyone who is interested in joining either Bedford Athletic or the new Bedford Athletic Blues squad is invited to attend pre-season training at Bedford Athletic RFC, Wentworth Drive, Bedford. For more information contact Rowland Winter (senior players) on 07545 549799 or Chris O’Dell (Under 17 or 18s) on 07976 238309 or email firstname.lastname@example.org