Darrell Goulding on Wigan’s U19s Academy Grand Final win against Leeds on Friday night.
U19s Coach credits Matty Peet and Shaun Wane for their diligence to the youth system.
- Goulding: “It’s everything we’ve worked for all year and it’s a relief more than anything.”
Darrell Goulding thanked Head of Youth Matty Peet and Head Coach Shaun Wane for their commitment to Wigan’s Academy as the Under-19s edged Leeds at the DW Stadium on Friday night to win a record ninth Grand Final in 11 seasons at this level.
The U19s Coach heaped credit to Peet and Wane for their dedication to the youth system and its amount of unprecedented success as the pair are to leave the Club at the end of the year.
Speaking to Wigan TV after the game, Goulding said: “It shows the testament to bringing young players through and we’ve had Matty (Peet) whose has a lot to do with the academy so it was nice for him to speak to the lads yesterday and also Shaun wane too about his belief in the youth system and what we have at the clubs and you see when you look at the first team the benefits of that.”
Wigan trailed 4-6 at half time despite Sam Grant getting his team off to a flyer in the fifth minute. However, a try from James Worthington 15 minutes into the second half and a Sam Halsall effort on the 75th cemented the 14-6 victory.
Goulding acknowledged it would be a tight and edgy affair which proved to be the case but he said it didn’t matter how well his team performed as the result was the most important factor.
“It’s brilliant. It’s everything we’ve worked for all year and it’s a relief more than anything. It wasn’t the best of games but they don’t matter as long as you get the result.
“I said in the week that it was going to be a tough game but I didn’t think it would be as quite close as it was. I think there was some nervous moments for us but probably the last five minutes we felt alright.
“I spoke about certain things like our trade marks what the lads had set earlier in the year but I think the thing that got us through was just working hard for each other. It wasn’t our best performance by a long way but they all dug deep and kept running and chasing back so I think their effort was brilliant.
“We had the best two teams and it might not have been an all-time classic in the standards of play but it was a close game and very evenly matched. To win it quite near the end was a gap of a great season.”
Goulding commended Rob Burrow’s Leeds in what was their first Academy Grand Final since 2012 but also revealed his side had the confidence to go out and get the win as nine players in the squad also featured in last year’s final against Castleford.
“We defended really well last time against them as they didn’t score but I thought they’d always get something in the game and to keep them just to one try was a really good effort. They were dangerous and there were a lot of times where I thought they could have scored if I’m honest.
“Obviously having nine players helped us a little bit and Leeds are probably a little more inexperienced in these games so it was a big help but the amount of first year players playing again - they’ll be playing for the next few years which will hold us in good stead.”
Goulding enjoyed the atmosphere at the DW as the game was part of a double header with the first team playing and beating Hull FC later on in the final round of the Super 8s.
“It was brilliant. I think the support was tremendous and there was a lot more than I was even expecting. It’s an experience for the lads and even after having the lap of honour, there’s some lads that will never get this chance again and it will live with them for the rest of their lives.”
Click here to watch the full interview with Darrell on Wigan TV.