The term may barely be over but the three Ospreylian further education college rugby teams are already getting ready for the 2014/15 season.
Pre-season will soon be underway for Gower College Swansea, while Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend Colleges are already underway, with the teams readying themselves to kick off in September under the new structure to regional age grade rugby.
For the substantial number of players set to be involved at the three colleges who are leaving the U16 age group, college rugby is now the next step on their careers, with the Ospreys providing a full support programme.
Already working closely with the Ospreys’ Elite Youth Development department with the mutual aim of ensuring a constant flow of quality young players through the system, for the first time this summer all three colleges will be operating a special pre-season training programme throughout the holiday period.
The training programme, which has been put together in conjunction with the region, will not just focus on those players who will be studying at one of the establishments in the coming academic year.
Instead, players who are moving up from last season’s U16 set-up have been invited to participate regardless of their educational choice or next destination, ensuring access to tailored strength and conditioning programming and specific skill work over the summer months for a wider range of youngsters hopeful of one day pulling on an Ospreys jersey.
Dan Griffiths, Ospreys Elite Performance Manager, explained:
"We have a really close working relationship with all of the colleges in Ospreylia and by working with them in terms of their rugby content they are becoming an increasingly vital part of our development pathway.
“Having the colleges run pre-season training over the course of the summer is a great step. Allowing everyone to partake in the programme will help to improve the standards of a wider range of players rather than just those involved within the regional age grade set-up, which has happened in the past.
“Providing increased opportunity for players to develop and improve means that the college game within the region will be stronger, with the obvious knock-on that there will be even more talent putting their hand up and pushing for places when it comes to our own U18 team.”