RGC performance manager Josh Leach has praised three academy stars that recently made a transition to the senior squad.

Bailey Rae, Sam Rodgers, Will Sanderson, Shaun Owen and Shaun Thomas have been training with the Principality Premiership side during their preparations for the new top-flight campaign, and Leach has been thoroughly impressed with the young Gogs as they look to make their mark at senior level.

He said: “It is great to see the boys featuring in the senior training, and it is credit to them and the efforts of the academy and age grade staff over the past few seasons.

“There has been a perception that we have a lack of depth in North Wales in regards to player quality. In fact, over last five seasons RGC have built a level of depth within the senior squad, and the limit of 32 squad players has prevented us from progressing as many academy players as we’d have liked in to a ‘transition group’ in order to create depth for the future.

“With RGC stepping up to the Premiership it does take longer for an Academy player to make the transition to that higher level, and I’m pleased to say we can now continue to support these players with the necessary coaching.”

The five aspiring stars are the latest to come through the club’s thriving academy system, which runs in partnership with Coleg Llandrillo and Rydal Penrhos School, producing players such as Afon Bagshaw, Joe Simpson, Danny Cross, Efan Jones and Dan Owen.

There are plenty of places up for grabs within the senior squad thanks to the high-profile departures of Jacob Botica, Alex Schwartz and Tiaan Loots, who have all moved on to try their hand within the professional ranks after developing considerably under Mark Jones and assistant Phil John.

“A big feature of the past two years has been the alignment of the pathway, from U15’s to Academy and senior side which will put us in a stronger position going forward,” added Leach.

“The aim is always to be able to produce a significant number of quality players each year, some who have the ability to play at a professional level, some who will build on the quality in RGC’s squad, and some who will strengthen their North Wales club.”