Alex Donaghy and Sean Croston Named To Make Their Debut Against Wakefield General January 14, 2019 Alex Donaghy and Sean Croston will experience first team actions for the first time on Saturday when Newcastle Thunder take on Super League outfit Wakefield Trinity at Kingston Park. The game which kicks off at 2pm will be an opportunity for fans to not only see the eye-catching new signings for 2019, but to also catch a glimpse of the talent coming through the ranks of the academy here at Thunder. Donaghy, who is product of Cramlington Rockets, will be the youngest player ever to make a first team debut from the academy system. The 17 year old half back has featured heavily throughout the last few seasons coming through the scholarship programme which lead to an appearance for England U15 against Wales. Croston who will join Alex on the bench on Saturday, having come through the academy system at St Helens, is now combining his rugby with studying a degree at Northumbria University, a joint education pathway that Newcastle Thunder are proud of. The head of academy, Michael Heap says “This is a great indication of where we are at as an academy, with having young players ready to step in at first team level. Alex and Sean’s selections, although it is part of a larger pre-season squad, shows the confidence that Payney has in the Academy. They are there on merit and deserve to be there – and I believe there are a number of others who could have been involved. Both have trained very well and it’s exciting to see an Under 17 get the chance to step into the first team environment. There is no pressure on them and just need to go out and enjoy it and I have total confidence that they will do just that and give a good account of themselves.” Newcastle Thunder will name their full squad for Saturday’s pre-season friendly on Wednesday. Tickets for a game which is one not to miss are available online, calling 0871 2266060 or by visiting the Kingston Park Stadium box office.