Mayfield U16's potential superstars

Date published: 27 December 2023

It's been no secret over recent years that Rochdale Mayfield is fast becoming a breeding ground for the next generation of rugby league super stars.

At the moment, there are three Super League players who learned their trade in the Mayfield youth section: Jack Ashworth, Hull FC; Matty Lees, Saints and Matty Ashton, Warrington Wolves.

All three have represented England at some level with Lees and Ashton gaining full international honours. Ashton also made the nominations for the Golden Boot award for the best player in the world.

Meanwhile back at Mayfield, the youth section just keeps on going, churning out potential superstars by the bucket full. One team that has epitomised this this year was the U16s.

Under the guidance of Neil Ramsden and head coach Marvin Connolly, these lads have been incredible. They finished fourth in a very competitive premier division and have turned out some real prospects for the, not too distant, future.

Five of the team have secured themselves academy spots at some of the biggest clubs in the country while two have swapped codes for their academy spots.

Three lads also had the honour of representing Ireland at international level. Rob Bentham, Sale Sharks; Dan Coop, Ireland international; Rafa Van Osselaer, Warrington Wolves; Deacon Connolly Warrington Wolves and Ireland; Tyde King, Bradford Bulls; Jake Dibden, Bradford Bulls; Jake Ramsden, Warrington Wolves; Leo Talbot, Ireland and Joe Horne, Sale Sharks. 

Most of the team have been together since they were six-years-old with Rammy and Marv coaching right the way through. Both coaches are now stepping down from their roles for a well-earned rest but, as Marv says, they will never forget the good times they had with this exceptional group of players.

He said: "It's been a roller coaster of a ride. We've won leagues, we've won cups, we've won big games and we've lost big games but I have absolutely loved my time with this team. I have no doubt whatsoever that some of these lads will become household names and go on to achieve great things in the game. To have played a part in that has been an honour for both myself and Rammy.

"I'd also like to mention the rest of the team: it's not just about the lads who get picked picked up, it's the whole squad. Every member of our squad counted and everyone contributed. I know they will carry that on as they make the move be it to other clubs or to our already successful U18s. All the best lads, rip it up."

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