Club support for Academy aces


Four young homegrown players today signed first Academy contracts with the Men of Gwent – and we celebrated with a special photograph to recognise the support from their club sides.

Centre Oli Andrew (Caerloen), scrum half Che Hope (Blackwood), full back Joe Westwood (Blackwood) and back row Ryan Woodman (Caldicot) have all signed up after impressing in age grade rugby.

To celebrate the player pathway and the vital support they have all had from their regional clubs they posed with representative playing jerseys.

And officials from Blackwood, Caldicot and Caerleon have all passed on congratulations to the young players.

Mark Christopherson and Jon Rowe, who coached Ryan Woodman at Caldicot, said: “Everyone at Caldicot would like to offer Ryan congratulations on this achievement - it’s fantastic to see players come through the mini and junior ranks of the club and into regional rugby.

“Hopefully Ryan will continue to come and support his former team-mates at the club when not on Dragons duty and we all wish his all the very best for the future.”

Pete Ovey, who coached Oli Andrew at Caerleon, said: “It’s wonderful news that Oli has signed Academy terms at Dragons and we all congratulate him on his deserved achievement.

“It’s great to witness a young player from Caerloen work his way up through our ranks and earn an opportunity with the Dragons.

“We’re sure Oli will take it with both hands, continue to work hard and we and wish him every success.”

Scott Millington, from Blackwood RFC Youth who coached by Che Hope and Joe Westwood, said: “I’d like to congratulate both Joe and Che on signing Academy contracts with the Dragons.

“It’s been a pleasure to have been involved with the pair of them through their mini and junior rugby.

“Both myself and everyone else at Blackwood RFC wish them all the best and success in their future rugby journeys.”

Che and Joe’s development with our partners Coleg Gwent has also been recognised.

Steve Llewellyn from Coleg Gwent added: “It’s fantastic to both Che and Joe sign Academy terms at the region.

“Both players made a big impact during their time with Coleg Gwent and we look forward to watching their continued development.”

For more information on Coleg Gwent click HERE

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