London Broncos have beaten off interest from other First Utility Super League clubs to confirm the signing of three promising U19 players.
Harvey Burnett, Toby Everett and Joe Keyes, all 18-years-old, have signed first team contracts to remain with the capital club. Burnett has signed for the 2015 season while Everett and Keyes have signed for three years from 2015.
All three players are training regularly with the Broncos first team while playing for the under-19s and are pushing for a place in head coach Joey Grima's Super League squad.
Harvey Burnett is an outside back who played his junior rugby league at Elmbridge Eagles before joining the youth set up at the Broncos where he progressed through the Academy system.
"I'm one 100 per cent happy,” said Burnett. "It's been a dream of mine for a while. It's great to get in the squad and see what Joey can do next year.
"It makes a massive difference to our game to train with the first team. When I go back to the under-19s, the training gives me a massive improvement. I'm looking forward to seeing how the club develops with new staff and new players next year.”
Forward Toby Everett played his junior rugby league at Greenwich Admirals before joining the London Broncos youth set up at 16-years-old. He has also played for England Youth and is a regular under-19s player having progressed through the youth structure.
"I'm really excited and I'm looking forward to seeing what Joey can do with me and others in the squad,” said Everett. "Joey's said there's a few things he wants to try out with me, I'm just really excited.
"Some of the things I pick up from the more experienced players in the first team, I then take back to the under-19s is really useful. I find the other under-19s are looking up to me as I'm training with the first team, which is always great.”
Joe Keyes, a stand-off, played his junior rugby league at Medway Dragons and Brentwood Eels before being picked up by the Broncos. He progressed through the Broncos youth and England youth structures and has played regularly for the under-19s.
"I'm really happy, it's been a dream since I was young,” said Keyes. "I've been following the club since I was five years old, so I'm delighted to sign up full-time, it's a dream come true.
"This club has been such a big part of my life for such a long time. It's always been my aspiration to stick with it and get a run at the first team because that's what I've wanted to do since I was little.”
Head coach Grima is delighted to sign up the three future stars.
"It's been something we've spoken about as a club since I took over,” said Grima. "It's important to us that we secure the future of the club.
"Certainly Harvey, Toby and Joe are three key players that will play first team next season or maybe even this season, so it was important for us a club moving forward.
"I could easily put any of them into the team at any given time, particularly with Joe Keyes. From where he's come in the last four or five weeks, he wouldn't be out of place in a Super League team.
"The signings show the Academy and under-16s players and the rugby league community there is a clear pathway from junior level to first team. It's demonstrated by these signings and that of Jonathan Wallace who signed up earlier this month.”