Darrell Goulding's joy as Wigan Warriors youngsters return

Darrell Goulding will welcome Wigan’s young players back today as they begin trying to make up lost ground due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Warriors' Robin Park HQWarriors' Robin Park HQ
Warriors' Robin Park HQ

The club’s academy and scholarship youngsters return to training this week after months away from the club.

Last year’s campaigns were scrapped because of coronavirus and the reserves competition was also shelved.

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Former centre Goulding stepped up to become the new Head of Youth for this season, replacing Mick Cassidy who departed during the first lockdown.

And he said: “It’s been a difficult time, I think it’s tested everyone. It’ll be good to get the players back in – just being around the first-team and hearing the talking about rugby, I’m itching to get going too.”

While this year’s reserves has been put on ice, there are still plans for an academy competition.

“We’ve been meeting with the RFL, the format maybe different because of Covid and travel and a range of other issues, and I think everyone understands that – the important thing is getting these lads games,” said Goulding.

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The 33-year-old previously headed up Wigan’s reserves and took charge of the ‘transition’ players on the fringes of the senior side.

“Whatever my role has been, it’s mainly been looking after the younger players, and it’s really rewarding seeing them develop,” he added.

“So when I got offered this role, I thought it’d be a good challenge and the right way for me to go.”