Powell: Tykes have bright future
By Ben Blackmore. Last Updated: 05/10/05 5:35pm
Leeds coach Daryl Powell has told fans to be prepared for a small amount of short-term heartache in order to reap the longer-term rewards of the club's youth policy.
The Tykes have had a shocking start to the season, losing every match in both Premiership and Powergen Cup, but Powell is adamant that there are a lot more positives coming out of the recent defeats than immediately meet the eye.
The highly-regarded coach is considered by many to be one of the main factors behind the Leed Rhino's recent success in rugby league, which has seen a batch of young players pull together to form a core capable of beating all before them.
And Powell believes that the same is beginning to develop at Headingley for the Tykes, with the recent impressive introductions of Jordan Crane and Rob Vickerman being prime examples.
"At the Rhinos we made a conscious decision to bring these players through and form the nucleus of our team around them," explained Powell.
"They have worked hard since then and achieved so much together but that bond has always been a key factor.
"We are trying to do a something similar here at the Tykes. Phil Davies has put a system in place that is the envy of most clubs in the Premiership.
"We dominate the representative squads at all junior levels with our players and that is beginning to bear fruit at the first team level."
Leeds director of rugby Phil Davies has persistently asked for patience from the fans as the club attempts to implement what he describes as 'new ideas' into their game.
And despite another poor defeat on Sunday - at home to Llanelli - Powell insists that the club is on the verge of a major upturn in fortunes.
"Obviously we are disappointed with our start to the season but there are plenty of reasons for optimism and not least of them is the emergence of these young, local players but it does take time.
"The foundations have been put in place by Phil Davies and our academy manager Stuart Lancaster for long term achievement and success over a number of years and people must not forget that."
Leeds go into action once again on Friday night, attempting to shake the monkey from their backs by finally notching up a win against Sale in the Powergen Cup.