Having played all his rugby at Deeside since the age of 4, Finlay Burgess has been selected to play for Glasgow Warriors U16 this weekend for the first leg of the U16 1872 Cup against Edinburgh Rugby.
Along with other players, as a 12 year old Finlay was identified by the coaching team at Deeside to represent the club on the Fosroc SRU Academy Early Identification Programme and has continued on this pathway since.
Last year, he successfully trialled for the Caledonia Regional Training Centre, which allowed him to train on a regular basis with other players from the North East in whom the academy saw potential. At this time, Finlay was also invited onto the SRU Performance Development Programme which has provided him with a greater input not only in respect of game skills but also sports psychology and nutrition.
Following yet another process, Finlay was then selected to represent Caledonia during the 2018 Regional Academy games programme, which saw him start all four games at scrum half against Glasgow and the West, Edinburgh and East Lothian (twice) and the Scottish Borders. From this series of games, he was invited to attend the Glasgow Warriors U16 development squad which is drawn from both Caledonian and Glasgow and the West Regional Squads, and has now been selected for the Glasgow Warriors U16 starting 15.
Although he has worked extremely hard to achieve the success that he has, Finlay is very aware that his keen interest and ability in rugby is largely attributable to the knowledge , commitment and enthusiasm of all those involved in coaching at Deeside and the camaraderie he has experienced with the players he has trained and played alongside for many years.
For being a relatively small community club, Deeside’s ability to attract youngsters to the game and then keep them committed through the youth set up is second to none. With the recent success of Angus Fraser at a national level and with the inclusion in the Caledonia squads of Max Wallace and Finlay this season (all of whom started at Deeside as Micros), it is evident that Deeside can produce players of a very high standard and it is hoped that these achievements will inspire other young players from the club in the future.
Updated 15:40 - 12 Oct 2018 by Sandra Marshall
12 October 2018