College delight at Red Devils link-up

Date published: 30 November 2018

Hopwood Hall College have entered an official partnership with Rugby League’s Salford Red Devils as part of a talent identity plan for the surrounding communities.

The Red Devils have used the sprawling sports facilities at Hopwood Hall College’s Middleton campus over the past year and have now agreed an official partnership between the two parties to help bring through the next generation of Betfred Super League players.

Salford Red Devils’ Head Coach, Ian Watson, said: “This is a massive step in the right direction for the Club in our aim to produce players as a community club.

"It’s time we begin to get more local young players coming through our system with the future aims of the club to have a complete pathway from school, community club, academies through to the first team.

“This partnership is putting us on the right path to begin this process.

"The fact we can introduce young players from Hopwood Hall College and Salford Red Devils Category Three Academy into first team environments to aid and assist their development is brilliant.

"These lads are getting rewarded by spending time in and around an environment which allows them to experience life as a professional Betfred Super League player.

“The partnership has been greatly assisted via Hopwood Hall College Coach, Matt Calland, who I have had a relationship with at Halifax, Rochdale and Wales.

"They have first-class facilities at Hopwood Hall College and with Matt at the helm we know that these lads are being coached to a high standard.

“Hopwood Hall College captures some of the hottest talent in the Rochdale and Oldham areas and we have now put the club in a position to access that talent.”

Kris Robinson, Centre Director for Sport and Public Services at Hopwood Hall College, further added the education provider’s perspective on the benefit of the two institutions coming together.

He said: “Having a working partnership with a Super League club the size of Salford Red Devils is a tantalizing prospect for Hopwood Hall College.

“Our learners will regularly get the once in a lifetime opportunity to train alongside and learn from Salford’s high-quality players and coaching staff and the club will have an ideal pipeline for the rugby talent ID of young sportsmen from our college.

“It’s also a great opportunity for Hopwood Hall College to showcase its training and playing facilities, being good enough for a club as established as Salford Red Devils is a sign of the quality we offer our learners.

“Our relationship with the club has been excellent, from the Director of Rugby right the way down, we’re really looking forward to seeing what the future holds.”

Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.