Advanced technical and tactical training.
Glendale Rugby’s recently announced Men’s U20 tier of competition Elite Development Program (EDP) will kick off on August 1, 2017. The program will focus on giving young rugby athletes advanced technical and tactical training on-field, as well as valuable off-field education in leadership, communication and more.
The program aims to fill a recognized gap in American rugby that makes it hard for high school-level athletes to find high-performance opportunities to further their rugby careers after graduation. Surrounded by a full-time professional staff, athletes participating in the program will receive guidance and exposure to elite-level opportunities nationally, internationally, and professionally. Director of Rugby Mark Bullock states, “Our U20 Elite Development Program contributes to the Glendale pathway for elite athletes looking to participate in a professional environment.”
The EDP team will compete against collegiate teams in the West Collegiate Division, smaller collegiate sides in the larger metro-Denver and Colorado area, local club teams in the region, and eventually, U20 teams from Major League Rugby feeder teams. EDP athletes will be eligible to train and compete with the Glendale Raptors Elite Men, as well as Division I and II teams from day one.
To date, Glendale has undertaken a massive recruiting effort, including sending scouts and having a presence at the Rocky Mountain Challenge and Great Northwest Challenge Regional Cup Tournaments. They are continuing to recruit and all potential candidates are encouraged to visit the U20 Men’s webpage to learn more about the program and fill out the Player Prospect Form to officially apply.
Head Coach Dave Synnott commented on the Rocky Mountain Challenge saying, “Attending the Rocky Mountain Challenge was a great experience. It’s one of the best Regional Cup Tournaments in the country and it definitely delivered. There was some top-notch talent on display. Glendale is looking to guide young men through to success, on and off the field, and these are the types of athletes we’re looking at to get the job done.”
As part of the recruiting effort, Glendale Rugby is also building a network of partners within the state of Colorado and around the United States to develop a complete pathway for young to aspiring professional athletes. Glendale has already secured one such relationship with Eagle Impact Rugby Academy, the nation’s premier U18 academy program and one of the official pathways to the High School All-American squad.
A team roster and schedule will be announced soon.
Coaches and Staff | Glendale Rugby
- Glendale Men’s U20s Head Coach: Dave Synnott
- Glendale Men’s U20s Assistant Coach: John McGuire
- Director of Rugby: Mark Bullock
- Director of Rugby Development: Luke Gross
- Glendale Raptors Head Coach: David Williams
- Glendale Raptors Assistant Coach: Kieran Browner
- Senior Coordinator: Jackson Thom
- Medical Director: Amy Valenta
- Strength & Conditioning: Nico Rithner
- Sports Psychology: Katie Wurst