Two young cousins are currently benefiting from the Dewsbury Rams philosophy of trying to bring through local players.
Brad and James Delaney both played their amateur rugby at Dewsbury Moor, before recently signing one-year deals for the professional rugby league side in January 2015.
Their surnames may sound familiar as Brad is the son of former Rams and Leeds Rhinos half-back Paul Delaney, who played 39 first team games for Leeds and made over 300 appearances for Dewsbury, all between 1985 and 2002.
Paul said: “I am very proud of them both as they have the ability to do well and have worked incredibly hard, so they deserve a shot in the professional ranks.
“Hard work and determination goes a long way, so hopefully they will get a chance at the Rams.
“How far they can go is up to them, they have got their foot on the ladder but now they need to work out what is required to become a first teamer.”
Paul also said he has many great memories at the club, and still goes to watch the Rams on a regular basis, claiming that the spectators are second to none and always give him a fantastic reception.
Left: Brad Delaney as a Dewsbury Rams player, Right: Brad with his dad Paul back when he played. Image courtesy of Steven Horsfall Photography.
Brad, 19, who plays scrum-half, feels he is settling in great at the Rams, and added: “All the players and staff have made me feel welcome and there is always a great vibe around the place.
“I’m gaining a lot of valuable experience in training and in matches, as most of the time we all train together so I can learn a lot from the more experienced players, and the coaching staff are always helping me in ways to improve.
“I am enjoying playing for the club my dad used to play for and I feel proud as he is well known throughout the club.”
The goal-kicking scrum-half went on to praise his father, who he says has played a massive part in the success in his career so far.
“My dad has been a massive factor and helped me most throughout my career, ever since I can remember we used to train in the gardens, he’s shown me how to pass, kick, side step and tackle.”
James Delaney as a Dewsbury Ram player. Image courtesy of Steven Horsfall Photography.
Meanwhile James, a 23 year-old forward, realises that while he has earned a contract, there is still work to be done.
He added: “The games after have been relatively positive for me with the feed I have received, but there is still plenty of things I can improve on.
“It’s a great feeling playing alongside Brad, he’s a very talented player and the fact that he’s my cousin makes it that little bit more special.”
He looked back at when he watched the Rams as a youngster, and said: “I remember watching my uncle Paul playing as a young boy and wishing that one day I could be in his shoes, and now I feel as though I am heading in the right direction so hopefully one day I can make that dream.”