Medway Mourn Loss of Croall

Medway Dragons RLFC and the sport of Rugby League are mourning the loss of Medway Dragons 1st Grade player Steve Croall, who tragically lost his life on Monday 25th July.

28 year old Steve had made a huge impact in the Dragons foundation season in the Rugby League Conference, playing some outstanding Rugby League and putting fun, enthusiasm and passion into everything he did, making many friends.  He will be missed by us all.  Our thoughts at this time are with his family and friends.

It has been agreed that all senior RLC and Merit League fixtures this weekend will observe one minute’s silence before kick-off as a mark of respect to Steve’s family, friends and the Medway Dragons RLFC.

Skolars play play their penultimate home game of the season at New River this Saturday when they entertain current league leaders, and promotion favourites, Swinton Lions. Kick-off is at the slighly later time of 4.00pm.

Swinton have had a very impressive season, winning 12 of the 15 games played to date and they currently hold a five point lead at the top over second place Doncaster, who have played one game more.

Earlier this season Skolars put in a spirited diplay at the Willows, only losing by 8 points and gaining their first point of the season. Since then Skolars have gone on to chalk up another 16 points and record an impressive run of fours consecutive home victories and Joe Mbu will be keen to see that excellent home form continue.

Before the main match Rugby League fans can enjoy an RLC Premier division fixture on the main pitch between Skolars ‘A’ team and West London Sharks. Skolars ‘A’ only came into the league five weeks ago, following the withdrawal of Hianulot Bulldogs, but have acquitted themselves well with some strong performances and impressive results, including a 18-32 away win at the Sharks three weeks ago.

Skolars ‘A’ v West London Sharks kicks off at 1.30pm.

Skolars Director of Rugby mark Croston takes a look back at an eventful week in the world of Rugby League and looks forward to the coming weekend . . .

As expected, London was awarded a Super League licence for a further three years, which is great news for the sport, London RL and definitely the Skokars.

Making the long journey north to Cumbria on Saturday were two members of Harlequins SupercLeague squad, Lamont Bryan and Dave Williams. Alongside Ben Bolger and Rob Thomas we have fielded one, two or three of them almost every weekend this year.

They add some depth and experience to what is still a young yet emerging squad. They have been thoroughly professional and the partnership with Harlequins is enabling more London players to be tested at the highest level possible. Still, we weren’t quite good enough to match a strong Workington outfit who made us pay for an uncharacteristic error strewn opening. At 18-0 down Jaroslaw Obuchowski was held up millimetres from their line and we are all convinced we would have gone onto win if he had gone in for his fourth try in four games.

Jaroslaw has been one of our most improved players since joining the Co-operative Championship squad. He is a great example of the wealth of talent coming through our junior ranks. Joe Mbu and Paul Thorman launched our Elite Development Programme last week bringing together the most talented Skolars between 16 and 18. Joe tells me there will be many more players coming through to first grade year on year, which will help to deepen our homegrown pool of players. Good luck to:

Tuoyo Egodo (under 14)
Ben Cary (under 16)
Aita Kuniyoshi (under 16)
Jack Clover (under 16)
Jack Avery (under 16)
Theo Danko (under 16)
Sahid Kpaka (under 16)
Uzair Abbas (under 16)
Cameron Furlong (under 18)
Dion Chapman (under 18)
Louie Sutherland (under 18)
Iliess Macani (under 18)
Bradley Edwards (under 18)

We didn’t get the win we needed in Workington – and with Oldham winning convincingly, our play off hopes are almost gone.

However, we look to bounce back this weekend and the visit of Swinton gives us a perfect opportunity. Our home form has been good throughout the year so we are all looking forward to the visit of the league leaders.

We are also looking forward to our remaining fixtures and are fully focused on giving our loyal and faithful fans a lot more to cheer about.

The London Skolars have launched an Elite Performance Squad for their most talented junior players. Headed up by first team head coach Joe Mbu, the EPS allows the most talented junior players in north London access to more specialised, one on one coaching with the aim to groom the players into potential first team squad members. The players are selected from the Skolars under 14s, 16s and 18s squads and train once a week on Monday’s under the guidance of Mbu plus other guest coaches. 

Skolars Community Manager Paul Thorman explained, “The EPS provides the players more time for one on one skill development, the nature of our junior section means that there is a gap in standard amongst players. This squad allows the most talented, time to develop further as well as giving Joe an opportunity to earmark players for the future.”

Involved in the EPS are:

Tuoyo Egodo (under 14)
Ben Cary (under 16)
Aita Kuniyoshi (under 16)
Jack Clover (under 16)
Jack Avery (under 16)
Theo Danko (under 16)
Sahid Kpaka (under 16)
Uzair Abbas (under 16)
Cameron Furlong (under 18)
Dion Chapman (under 18)
Louie Sutherland (under 18)
Iliess Macani (under 18)
Bradley Edwards (under 18)

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