Stratford signs under Harvey19/08/2013
Jersey Rugby Football Club are delighted to announce the signing of JRFC Academy product and Island born hooker Luke Stratford for the 2013/14 season.
The Jersey born front row forward has graduated through the JRFC youth set-up to reach the professional side at the summit of Island rugby to the great credit of everyone involved with the Academy. The former De La Salle student credits the school with introducing him to rugby and could even pack down with his previous teacher and tight-head prop Jon Brennan this term.
Stratford is brimming with pride to be given a shot from Director of Rugby Ben Harvey and on his inclusion in the squad the youngster commented:
"It's incredible - it is so amazing to play for Jersey at Colts level, but to be included in the professional set-up is another step altogether.
"If and hopefully when I get my first game for the first team it is just going to be unbelievable; I'm just so proud and thank everyone for the chance."
Stratford, still only 19-years-old, believes that the training and mentoring he received through the Academy that saw him represent Hampshire U15, U16, U17 and U18 were all key to his signature under Harvey.
"At Colts level last year we had Fozzie (Mark Foster) helping us with various elements. It's brilliant that the first team get so involved with the younger players. It aided me massively and it doesn't just inspire the younger lads it teaches them the best principles of rugby and what it takes to make it at the professional standard.
"I'm gaining so much experience from all the older players, especially Elvis (Taione) and Dave (Felton). Plus it's nice to have a forwards coach who was a hooker at this level and knows what it takes; I'm learning each day. Training with them is going to make my skills and techniques stronger, giving me the best chance possible.
"I'm just so proud to represent the Island and play alongside these lads; my ambitions are to get a couple of matches this season and continue to develop. If I could set myself one dream goal this season it would be to play a part in the Siam Cup."
Written by Emma Glendening