Meet the Under 19s – Part Five

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REGAN CROFT (Pictured Left)

Another product of the Oldham St Anne’s conveyor belt of talent, fullback, Regan Croft, joined to take up the game at U10 level, and stayed through to U16s.  Over the time he played with them, always in his accustomed role at the back of the line, he drew considerable interest from professional clubs, this side of the Pennines.

First in line were Widnes Vikings, who briefly took him on trial before Warrington Wolves watched him playing a couple of games for St Anne’s before they, too, invited him down to the Halliwell Jones Stadium, at the age of fourteen, where he stayed for the full two years of the U16s Scholarship.

It was at the end of his period with Warrington that he was invited to come to Salford, which he did at the end of last season.  Having had the close season to become accustomed to everything here, Regan now feels really settled and at home.  He intends to repay everyone here by displaying an extremely good attitude, and showing a steely determination, which ensures he never gives up on anything.

DECLAN HIDDEN (Pictured Centre)

Despite his Wigan roots, it was in football that the young Declan Hidden started his career in sport, as a result of his mother’s side of his family having strong ties with Everton FC, and it was not until he started in High School that he gave rugby a try.  A growing spurt, the following year, provided him with the impetus which helped him make great strides in this, to the extent that he made the decision to give up football to concentrate on rugby league.

Wigan St Pat’s was the team to benefit from his services with their U13s side, at prop forward.  Although he has since moved to the second row, the constant involvement in the game that that propping brought him was quite rewarding in itself.  With such a strong, established side as St Pats success was never far away, but so too was this true of his school team, St Edmund Arrowsmith.

At the age of fourteen he was invited to join our Scholarship side, making a somewhat delayed debut, owing to a number of niggling injuries, at home to Hull.  Now in his first year with the U19s, Declan believes that his enthusiasm, which has made him a great communicator within the team, will be of benefit to the side, whenever he is selected

LEWIS BROWN (Pictured Right)

As a native of Cumbria, growing up in Workington, second row forward, Lewis Brown has avoided the necessity of onerous travelling by residing much more locally, in the Warrington area.  He joined our Scholarship, at the start of last season, and played in seven of the eight fixtures, which went to comprise the whole season.  He particularly enjoyed that time as he found that he was with what he terms ‘a great bunch of lads’, and attributes that as being the basis for the fact that they competed well throughout, with their most notable success being their defeat of mighty St Helens.

Upon moving up to the U19s, at the start of pre-season training, he expected, and found it to be a significant challenge being amongst nineteen year olds, and indeed noticed this within the first week.   This will stand him in good stead for when the season gets under way, with the increased pace and intensity with which he will have to contend.  Opposing teams, though, will have to cope with a strong and aggressive player, who runs good lines, is strong in defence, and works well within his team.