WASHINGTON, DC (October 7, 2020) Old Glory DC today launched the Old Glory Academy, the high-performance player pathway for age groups 16-18. Beginning Fall of 2020, the Old Glory Rugby Academy’s role is to identify and develop talented young athletes from the Mid-Atlantic Region aged 16 to 18 and engage them in a performance development program led by Old Glory DC coaches and staff.

“As Old Glory becomes established as a professional organization in USA Rugby and the MLR, it is important we start growing the franchise’s high-performance pathway,” said Head Coach Andrew Douglas. “The Old Glory Academy is an essential step in that pathway. It gives high school players a genuine avenue to professional rugby. It exposes them to professional coaching and practices that will not only make them successful rugby players but, more importantly, better people.”

“Old Glory’s future largely depends on our ability to develop local talent,” adds owner Paul Sheehy. “The Old Glory academy is our first significant step in the player pathway development. Putting players in this type of environment, locally and under coach Douglas’s guidance, will be a game-changer for those players. “

The Old Glory Academy is based on the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU)  6 Pillars of Player Development and includes:

  1. Technical: Catch & Pass, Tackle, Running Lines, Positional Specific
  2. Tactical: Understanding your role, game plan, rugby laws
  3. Physical: Aerobic fitness, speed, power, strength
  4. Nutrition: General, pre & post-training/game, individual needs, hydration, supplements
  5. Mind Skills: Routines, mindfulness, visualization, dealing with pressure
  6. Leadership and Professional Development

A New Zealand native, Douglas emphasized NZRU’s culture-based approach to rugby development when designing the Old Glory Academy.

“The values of rugby will be highlighted constantly in the Academy program and those young people who are chosen to be part of this group will have high expectations placed on them on how they conduct themselves and treat others. This is one of the most exciting steps that Old Glory has taken, and I can’t wait to be part of it.”

Selected male and female athletes will have 2-6 hours of weekly training and interrelated activities, including educational lessons, coaching, individual skills exercises, development of mental strength, intelligence, and rugby abilities. Players will also gain a greater understanding of the importance of physical fitness, strength, and conditioning and what it is appropriate for young players at any age or stage of the long-term player development continuum.

Players will join through a series of combines or recommendations from the Old Glory coaching staff. The first combine will be announced soon.

“This combine will begin to answer what is a question we are asked by our community and our owners almost every day – how do we get local players to our first team?” said Player Pathways Manager Tim Brown.  “We are excited to give 16, 17, and 18-year-olds a shot to work with our first team coaches.  For these students, we don’t want to replace what they are doing with their local clubs, we want this to be another opportunity for they and their coaches to grow along with OGDC”.

All questions and inquiries can be directed to info@oldglorydc.com

Players will join through a series of combines or recommendations from the Old Glory coaching staff.  The first combine will be October 18th, 2020, from 10:30 AM in Loudoun County.

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