New for 2021/22, the Ashford Colts Academy is the U17-U18 section of the club and has been established to provide junior players with a clear pathway into adult rugby.
The Ashford Academy aims to be highly competitive at local, regional and national levels. We will be entering a team into the National Colts Cup enabling players to play against new opposition, as well as the usual Kent Competitions and friendlies. However, the Academy will also provide rugby for all players, regardless of ability, who want to continue pursuing the sport. Our aim is to provide the best possible rugby experience they could wish for in their final years as a junior rugby player.
This is a busy time of life for the boys, with A levels looming and some may be away at boarding school during the week. Therefore, whilst training is strongly encouraged, an inability to regularly make midweek training sessions should not prevent you from joining.
The Academy will have a strong identity and culture drawn from, and complementing, the club’s 1st XV, resulting in an ‘Ashford Way’ of playing. The Academy’s own coaching team will be supplemented by ‘guest’ coaches (including 1st XV players) and overseen by the Club’s Director of Rugby. Part of each training session will be conducted with the senior Men, to build friendships, connections, and familiarity.
Academy fixtures will be played either as Colts A and B or as U18 and U17, depending on the opposition. The National Colts Cup is being run before Xmas with the Kent Colts League taking place from January-April.
Matches will be held on Sunday mornings, with usual kick off time of 11am.
Academy training takes place on Thursday evenings between 6.30pm and 8pm. For the 2021/22 pre-season training will start in mid-July – players will be contacted via Teamo to confirm.
We are always looking to increase our number and welcome new recruits so if you would like to join the Ashford Colts Academy set up, please get in touch. If you are U17-U18 (Schools Years 12-13) and would like to play rugby for Ashford you will be very welcome to come down to sample a few training sessions (with no obligation) to see how you like it.
Ashford has always been a community club and has grown, and achieved success, organically. In the past two seasons, the 1st XV has gained two league promotions, winning Kent 1 and then subsequently getting promoted from London South East 3. This is by a team where 95% of the squad have come through the junior ranks at the club. ARFC is determined to continue this philosophy and the creation of the Academy aims to formalise this transition from Junior rugby to representing the Club at its top level.