Q&A with Ben Lazenby
For this week’s programme, we spoke with Ben Lazenby, the Wolves’ Player Performance Manager. We work closely with Ben in supporting our young players and we wanted to speak to him to find out a little bit more about what he does and how our money helps bring through the next Ben Currie or Glen Riley.
Squadbuilder: Ben, great to speak with you. Can you talk us through your background and how to came to work us the Wolves?
Ben: I joined the club in September 2008 from the RFL where I was employed as a club and coach development officer – a role where I was responsible for coach development across Merseyside including Widnes and St Helens. Prior to that I was employed as Wigan and Leigh Rugby League Service Area Coordinator, which involved creating player and coach pathways into the professional game. While employed as the Service Area Coordinator I was also team manager for Wigan Warriors reserve team who were minor premiers that year. I have had the fortune of working with some smart, inspirational people within the role above and since being at the Wolves I have had a great mentorship working with John Bastian, Tony Smith, Jimmy Lowes and Peter Farrell.
Squadbuilder: Can you tell us what your role entails?
Ben: My role at Warrington is to oversee the development of Academy Under – 19 and Under – 16 programme including the development of players and staff. An important element of youth development is to have structure and consistency within the pathway and a strong code of values for the junior players. The programmes at both Under – 16s and Under – 19s provide a learning environment for players to improve their footballing ability and athletic development but most importantly for us, the development of those players as people.
Squadbuilder: Talk to us through the role Squadbuilder plays in working with our young players?
Ben: Squadbuilder play a massive part in the development of junior players at Warrington Wolves through the support and fundraising that they do for youth development. Over the past 5 years a substantial amount has been raised and donated going towards training trips and important training and gym equipment, as well as supporting the community programme to encourage more young players to pick up the game in Warrington.
Squadbuilder: What is the most important piece of advice you give to our young players when you come into contact with them?
Ben: Our number one priority is to recruit and develop good balanced people, so being a good person with good values is very important. There are more pressures than ever on young people these days and we want our players to have the confidence to make the right choices in life, get a good grounding behind them as well as their rugby, but above all we encourage our players to enjoy their rugby and time with us.
Squadbuilder: Tony Smith talks about that it is important that our players are “good people”. Could you please explain how that works and what we expect of our players?
Ben: Over the past 5 years we have worked very hard to create a strong, disciplined culture. The key values that have been instilled are honesty, trust, loyalty, respect and discipline. Moving forward we are placing a further emphasis on these values as well as individual responsibility, learning and self motivation. At Warrington Wolves we want our players to be good role models on and off the field.
Squadbuilder: Finally – the club’s motto is Lupus non mordet lupum – what’s yours!?!
Ben: Work hard, stay humble
Squadbuilder would like to thank Ben for his time and for his work with bringing through young players and wish him all the best of luck for the new season.