David Clegg Continues His Series Introducing The Younger Players From The U19s’ 2016 Squad
HAIDER KHAN (Left)
Simply watching an older cousin playing for Wigan Warriors U19s was enough to persuade Haider Kahn to take up rugby and try to make the grade. Hailing from Oldham, he started, at the age of nine, by joining St Anne’s ARLFC, who have long since held pole position among the clubs within the town. Playing initially at prop, it was eventually as a winger that he was to make his mark in a team which invariably won the Oldham Cup with considerable regularity.
It was after one such victory, over neighbours Waterhead, at U15 level, that he was approached by, among others, Salford Red Devils, and he arrived here to play with our U16s at the start of last season. Now promoted to the U19s, he tells me he is keenly looking forward to having the chance of proving himself at this higher level, with his main aim being to play well for the team, and contributing to their wins.
With his combination of pace, power and high work rate, teams will undoubtedly find him a force to be reckoned with out on the flank.
ELLIOTT CAINE (Centre)
At just seventeen and a half, Elliott Caine was one of the youngest players in last year’s squad. He was also one of the fastest, as was evidenced by his length of the field try at Wakefield, in the Group 2 competition, and from a very early age has worked hard at his sprinting, with his best time being 10.9 secs in the 100ms.
Living in Derbyshire, Elliott found that the chances of playing rugby league were more than a little limited, so unbelievably, started to make the regular journey up to St Helens to play with Blackbrook ARLFC, before being picked up by Castleford Tigers whom he joined on a Scholarship, whilst at the same time continuing to work on his sprinting in the Wakefield area.
The significant distance he was having to travel, however, discouraged Castleford from continuing his contract with them any further, and Salford, against whom he had played at U16s level, swooped to bring him to the A J Bell, on a two year deal. He says it took him a short while to settle, at the start of last season, having to adapt to the increased challenge of the U19s, but once he had done so he has really enjoyed it here.
LEWIS GREGORY (Right)
Attendance at regional trials, as a result of the encouragement of his teacher at school, opened the door for Lewis, still in his early teens, to join local club, Folly Lane, where he initially played at prop. His swift development then led to his being brought to the attention of the Salford Red Devils, and in 2013 he joined our U16s.
After two years with them, last season saw his graduation to the U19s, and with it a change of position to loose forward. Now, just turned eighteen, Lewis is looking forward to his second season, and to building on the near seventy-five percent of appearances he made last year – a significant number for one in his first season at this level.