The opportunities in rugby at Moulton College have developed extensively over the years…
These changes, brought about by the college’s professional staff have helped to mould the programme into a well rounded, high quality course that’s driven by the highest standards of play.
Since the arrival of Phil Powell in September 2018, there has been a positive shift in the mentality of the students. Phil’s ethos revolves around player development, both physically and psychologically. His aims to raise the standard of players have inspired his pupils to work harder, and ultimately increase their calibre in such a competitive sporting world.
Phil has set up a ‘nurturing programme’ which encourages players to consider their strengths and address their weaknesses, and positively move forward on the pitch with this knowledge. Player Development Programmes (PDPs) are allowing staff ample opportunity to get to know their students through understanding their story. The PDPs provide a discussion point, which ensures that staff are better connected with their students on a more informal level.
The hard work of Phil and his team at Moulton College is clearly paying off, with players moving onto professional clubs including Northampton Saints U18s and Coventry U18s.
Rugby Academy students Tommy Freeman and Archie Strath.
Tommy Freeman, recently picked up by Northampton Saints U18s said:
‘I’m honoured to have been chosen to be a part of the Saints U18s squad. I’ve been playing rugby since I was seven years old, and always been a fan of the sport. I owe a lot to Phil and the team at Moulton College for helping me on this journey, and I’m forever grateful. I feel privileged to have been able to play here, and receive the support that I have to develop my sports career.’
‘Phil is a fantastic mentor. He’s passionate about raising the standards of our play, and encourages our development on and off the field. I’ve honestly learnt so many life lessons including leadership, communication, teamwork, all of which will help me develop in the outside world.’
Second year student Archie Strath has previously played for the Northampton Saints U13s, before moving on two years ago to play for Coventry U18s.
Archie said: 'I’ve enjoyed playing rugby for as long as I can remember, and as soon as I was old enough, I applied to do a BTEC Diploma in Sports Development and coaching course at Moulton College. I’d heard a lot of positive feedback about the college, so I was keen to see it for myself! I wasn’t disappointed. The facilities here are fantastic, and the help and guidance I’ve received from the sports staff during my time here has been invaluable. Everyone is part of a team – both on and off the pitch. Phil is a great coach and always invests time in his players. He’s helped me to develop as a person, as well as a rugby player'.
Moulton’s rugby students are part of the AASE League – a programme designed to meet the needs of 16-18 year olds who have the potential to become professional rugby players. As part of this League, the college has a long-standing relationship with Northampton Saints, and a number of previous students have gone on to play for the club at a professional level.
Phil said: 'Moulton College has a historic reputation for developing quality rugby players, and I’m proud to be a part of continuing this legacy. The team here is growing in competitiveness, and it’s fantastic to see. All I want is for the players to be the best they can be, not only for the benefit of their teammates, but in the wider world too. When a player develops as a person, their skills in the field also improve. It’s all about understanding the students, and trusting them to work as hard as they can’.
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