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(Updated 27/6/24)

1. Club Aim and Objective

  • Yorkshire RTC is a Football Development Centre that provides talented young players the opportunity to play football in the elite Junior Premier League.

  • Our primary objective is to provide players, who have a hunger for football, the opportunity to progress as far up the football ladder as possible.


2. Player Progression Pathway

Yorkshire RTC have strong links with all the local Professional Football Academies. We occasionally play friendlies against the pro-academy teams and we work with the network of pro- academy scouts who frequently come to watch our games and training sessions.

Over the years many players from Yorkshire RTC have progressed on to pro-academy contracts and we continually support players who have been released from their pro-academy contracts but want to continue playing at a standard that is as close to pro-academy football as possible.


Although, the primary objective of YRTC is to progress players into the pro-academy system we also recognise that a very low percentage of pro-academy players are asked to continue onto a pro-academy scholarship contract at 17. Generally, from a squad of 15 to 18 pro-academy U16 players, up to four will be asked to progress into the pro-scholarship program. The reality is that most players in the pro-academy system end up being released at some point. This can have a dramatic psychological impact on the player, can affect their overall confidence and in some cases results in them stopping playing football altogether.

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At Yorkshire RTC, any players that have not progressed onto a Scholarship at a Pro Club as they enter the U17s age group will be supported into the Semi-Pro Academy trials process. This is a key element of the club’s progression policy and provides the opportunity for players to continue to progress and develop as a steppingstone into semi-professional football and hopefully back into pro-football in the future. Yorkshire RTC's  primary Semi-Pro academy partner is Emley AFC. Emley AFC have an U18s team who play in the JPL along with an U23s team. Emley AFC has a rich football history in the Yorkshire area. The Emley Academy approach to coaching and development is very progressive and Yorkshire RTC are proud to be partnership with them.


3. Structure of teams within Yorkshire RTC

Yorkshire RTC have the following structure of Squads across age groups from U6s to U18s.

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U6s and U7s – Pre-Academy

The U6s and U8s Pre-Academy receive training once per week. The training is delivered by professional coaches and is designed to prepare the players to start playing in the Junior Premier League when they reach the U8 Age group.

U8s to U18s – JPL Squad Player and Shadow Players

From U8s to U16 the Yorkshire RTC squads compete in the advanced Junior Premier League. The JPL Players within each age group train once per week and compete in the JPL on Saturdays. Each JPL Squad may also be supported by several Shadow Players. These players undertake training each week alongside the JPL Squad players.


Occasionally, the Shadow Players are called up play JPL games when opportunities are available. Friendly matches are also organised that may include Shadow Players as often as possible.

The purpose of having Shadow Players is to provide an opportunity for talented players who aren’t currently at the level of the other JPL Players in the age group, to receive professional coaching with the aim of eventually moving into the JPL squad when a space becomes available.


Yorkshire RTC recognise that young players go through peaks and troughs of technical ability as they grow. This is natural particularly as players go through growth spurts between the age of 12 and 17.

The Shadow Player option is therefore a key part of the Yorkshire RTC programme as it provides the ability for the club to continue to work with players who are either on the cusp of the JPL standard or have previously played JPL football but are struggling to maintain the standard for whatever reason.

Consequently, there is potential for players to move in both directions between the Shadow Player and JPL Player options over the course of the season.


4. How does the Player Progression Pathway work in practice?


Yorkshire RTC is a feeder into the pro-academy and semi-pro system. Consequently, as players leave Yorkshire RTC spaces are created.

It is therefore important that Yorkshire RTC strike the right balance between the development of current players and the recruitment of new players to strengthen teams and provide strength in depth within the squads.


Although movement between the JPL Player and Shadow Player options does take place through the season Yorkshire RTC does not have a revolving door policy where our current players are asked to leave the club as soon as another more technically gifted player becomes interested in joining. It is feasible however that a player may be asked to leave the clubs during the Post Season trials period if the standard with the the squad (JPL Players and Shadow Players) has improved beyond their current level.

Yorkshire RTC has a progression route from U6s to U18s which is broken down into 12 month cycles.

Each 12 months cycle involve the following stages: -

Post Season Trials - June to July

Trials of conducted during the Post Season (June/July period. As part of this process the Team Manager will consider their experience with current players along with their Player Progression Review information to determine which players are going to be asked if they would like to continue the following season. YRTC aim to continue to work with all players from them joining the club right through to leaving at the age of 19. However, in order for the club to continually develop in order to compete at the highest level it's important that the squads are reviewed each season. This ensures that the players maintain their focus and desire to develop in order to reach their potential. Any concerns about progression, effort and attitude are highlighted in the Player Progression Reviews that each player receives.

Between May and June the player/parent will also be asked to complete a Continuation Survey so the club can determine whether the player intends to continue with YRTC the following season. The Team Manager or Lead Coach will also discuss options for the following season with parents and players where they feel it’s needed.


On the occasions where the Team Manager believes that a player has dropped below the level JPL Players, Shadow Players and Trialists the Team Manager will have a discussion with the players parent. Although, this is a difficult conversation it is not anticipated that the player/parent will be surprised as the Player Progression Review process and previous discussions between the player/parent will already have highlighted key areas for development.


When the Team Managers offers a player a JPL Player or Shadow Player position, and the player/parent accepts the offer, the Club registration form is completed. It is the completion of the Squad Registration form and subsequent payment of the Registration Fee that secures the players place for the following season.

Yorkshire RTC will also hold trials with the aim maintaining and strengthening each age group in the closed season.

Pre-Season (August)

Intense fitness, technical and tactical training supplemented by regular friendly matches takes place during the Pre-Season period.

Season - September to May

During the Season it’s inevitable that some movement of players will take place. This could be due to players leaving for pro-academies, players being moved from JPL Squad to Shadow or players leaving to pursue other interests.

As spaces in the JPL squad become available the Team Manager will look to fill the space with a suitable player. This could be a Shadow Player that is suitable for the position available or another player that has been successful in the trials process.


5. Recruitment of New Players

Yorkshire RTC hold rolling trials throughout the 12 month cycle for prospective new players. Trialist train with their age group for a period of 3 weeks. During the 3 week period the trialist is assessed to determine their Technical/Tactical ability, Fitness Level and attitude towards training. This provides an indication as to where a potential new player sits against current players and the JPL standards.


At the end of the trial period the Head Coach, Team Manager or Club Secretary will inform the parent whether the player is to be offered a place in either the JPL Squad or as a Shadow Player. It may also be agreed that the player is not ready for JPL football.

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