Pic: John Alder WRU’s new Head of Player Development John Alder who worked with Team GB at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Llandovery RFC’s Annual 25 Club Dinner which is to be held at the clubhouse this Friday, April 28 has attracted more than the usual interest writes Huw S Thomas
Members of the 25 strong club – founded in 2018 – and guests will have the chance to hear the views of the WRU’s new Head of Player Development John Alder.
Through the efforts of Llandovery Chairman Peter Rees, Alder will take part in a Question and Answer Forum alongside three Drovers coaches in Euros Evans, Gareth Potter and Tom Hancock
Alder has signified his willingness to field all questions relating the Premiership pathway and Drovers supporters will be anxious to hear his take on the path to follow.
Alder has the onerous responsibility of looking through the WRU’s rugby structure in an effort to modernise and streamline the pathway for Wales’s players.
One of his remits will be to assess and advise upon the role of the Indigo Premiership in the future of the game in Wales.
It is a topic that has aroused huge interest amongst Premiership clubs whose future over the next few years is shrouded in uncertainty.
As things stand the Premiership is set to go up to 13 clubs next year with the top two championship sides Pontypool and Neath joining the current Premiership sides apart from Llanelli who have sadly withdraw from the league.
A WRU proposal to establish a semi-professional Elite League of just 8 or 9 clubs for the 2024-2025 season has muddied the waters and left the clubs apprehensive or indeed fearful of the future and their position in the game.
The much travelled Alder has worked in performance pathways and development for the English Institute of Sport and UK Sport, worked with athletes in Olympic and Paralympic sport and also spent two years as high performance development lead for New Zealand Rugby League.
“I am excited to return to rugby and look forward to playing my part in helping create a thriving development environment that enables young men and women to fulfil their potential and dreams on and off the rugby pitch,” said Alder.
Gloucester man Alder, has worked at the English Institute of Sport alongside WRU performance director Nigel Walker.
“I’m delighted that John has agreed to head up our performance pathway team, not least because I have worked directly with him in previous roles and I know what an asset he will be to Welsh rugby,” said Walker.
“This is a complex and vital role at the WRU, with co-ordination of pathway talent through the regional academies, our Premiership clubs and our age group sides, in both the men’s and women’s game, a central priority.“
Any Llandovery supporters wishing to come to the 25 Club Dinner should get in touch with Gina Deering at the Church Bank Office. There is still room for a table of six for those interested in attending.
Tickets for non members of the 25 Club are on sale at £60 a head to include a three course dinner and all wines
Ms Deering should be contacted asap on 01550 721389 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org