Martin Dunn backs Hull KR academy young guns to make first-team impact
HULL KR's head of youth development Martin Dunn believes eight new academy signings have the drive and talent to play for Rovers in Super League.
Dunn says the youngsters have been rewarded for their performances in the under-16s last season, and he now expects big things from them over the next two years.
Dunn, who has been finding young talent for Rovers for the last five years, is delighted with the new crop of recruits.
"We are very excited about this group of players," Dunn told the Mail.
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"Already they have proved they have the talent to be successful. They are very driven young men who want to be successful.
"They are keen to learn and are asking questions all the time to reach their goals.
"Hopefully they can go all the way and play Super League for Hull KR, which will be a massive benefit for the club."
The youngsters will be given every chance of progressing through the ranks into the first team, and will also be supported off the pitch as they come to terms with life after school.
"These lads have just left school and are entering the big wide world," said Dunn.
"We have to look after them when they are away from the game. They are signed up to ASSE, an apprentice to sporting excellence.
"They will be with us on a full-time basis in the classroom and on the pitch.
"We want to make sure we give them every tool they need to achieve the goals they want, and we get what we want from them."
Rovers hope all eight follow in the footsteps of the likes of Kris Welham and Liam Salter.
Welham has become the club's all-time leading try scorer in Super League with 57, while Salter made 11 appearances at right centre this season, scoring three times.
The new professional players know if they work hard, head coach Craig Sandercock will give them a chance in his first team.
"These professional academy contracts are a reward but there are greater rewards further down the line," Dunn said.
"This season Craig has given a significant number of young players their Super League debuts.
"They have proved themselves to Craig and the rest of the coaching staff.
"If this crop of players prove themselves and apply the right focus, their opportunity will come.
"Next season they will be playing for the under-19s and we should see their qualities.
"I have no doubt they will as the feedback I have got from Pete Grayburn has been very positive.
"The future is in good hands."
New recruits: Harry Aldous, Aiden Armstrong, Macauley Duke, Macauley Hallett, Joshua Hamilton, Steven Holker, Elliott Kerry and Marvin Lee.