Assessment and Nomination

Assessment and Nomination

What is the nomination process for players to enter the DPP?

Sale Sharks Academy has an open process for players entering the player pathway at any stage between DPP- Senior Academy. This is to help support the long-term development of players and identify late developers to the sport.

The main method for player entry into the DPP is through club coach or school teacher nomination. The nomination process is emailed to school and club coaches in the North West upon the opening of the nomination window and released on the Sale Sharks website. The nomination dates for 2020-21 are below:

Age Grade  Nomination Opening Date  Nomination Deadline
Under 13  2nd December  31st January
Under 14  5th August  20th September
Under 15  5th August  20th September
Under 16  5th August  20th September





Each school or club is invited to nominate up to 5 players per age grade for assessment. However, if coaches feel they have additional players who are of the standard for nomination please get in touch.

What is the assessment process for the DPP?

Players nominated for the DPP receive dates and details of the assessment session via email. Players are invited to an assessment evening at their centre at the beginning of the DPP delivery window for their age grade. Players are then informed of DPP Centre selection via email and players published on the Sharks website with dates released for the programme.

The Under 13 programme will act as an assessment period for players to join the Under 14 programme. This longitudinal assessment process is designed to make accurate judgements on the long term potential of players.

What are we looking for in DPP players?

Player nomination guidance and player assessment within the DPP is against the Sale Sharks Academy Player Development Model. The academy staff believe there are 4 aspects required for players to play the future game and guidance around the nomination of players can be found here:

Defensive Warriors: Players who regularly demonstrate the ability to repeatedly make effective decisions in defence which will disrupt the opposition. These players show the bravery to be enthusiastic tacklers, to get off the floor quickly and to contest possession.

Creative Attackers: Players who regularly demonstrate the ability to combine technical skill and tactical decision making to create attacking opportunities during game play. These players show the coordination to run, kick, pass effectively whilst at speed.

Relentless Athletes: The potential for physical capacity of a fast, robust player to repeatedly perform high-intensity efforts and recover quickly. These players demonstrate the ability to play the future game in their capacity for work and some will have the physical attributes required to play the current modern game.

Best Teammates: Players with the ability to self-organise, take responsibility, and build relationships in order to perform effectively as part of a team. These players are well prepared for training sessions and accept others and develop friendships. They show a point of difference in their attitude.

The principle of the DPP is around identifying players with long term potential. The programme is not fixture or competition based and therefore assessment is based on identifying long term potential. Therefore players selected may not be considered necessarily the best in their age group currently or the most physically developed.

What are the delivery windows for the DPP?

The dates for delivery will follow the windows highlighted below and typically include twice monthly sessions.

Age Grade  Start Delivery Window  End of Delivery Window
Under 13  February  April
Under 14  October  April
Under 15  October  April
Under 16  October  December

What is the link between the Under 15 and 16 DPP and County pathways?

In order to support a single pathway across programmes, there is a clear collaboration between the DPP and CB programmes. Under 15 players follow the DPP from October- April with a festival in early January for the Cheshire Centres (East, Central, West) and the Lancashire Centres (Manchester, Merseyside, North Lancashire). The purpose of these festivals is for players to demonstrate the qualities they have developed through the DPP. Following the festivals, Under 15 County squads and Sharks Development Groups (SDG) are announced and players follow the pathway best suited to support their development at this stage.

At Under 16 DPP players follow a similar pathway whereby players are part of the DPP between October- December and on the conclusion of the DPP, County squads are announced for the CB programme between January- February.

When do the Under 15 and 16 Sharks Development Groups (SDG) get selected?

Selection for the next stage on the Player Pathway after the DPP is the Sharks Development Groups (SDG). The SDG is for identified young players aged 14yrs – 16yrs. The majority of players are selected through the DPP, along with identified players of potential throughout the season. The SDG players train at Carrington and Myerscough College during the playing season on a Monday evening, following a curriculum that addresses the holistic development of physical, technical, tactical, psychological, educational and life skills.

Players are invited into the SDG programme in January of the U15 season following the conclusion of the DPP. These players also play in the CB pathway. At Under 16 there are opportunities for players to be invited into the SDG programme following the conclusion of the DPP and County programmes.

If club coaches/school teachers believe they have players aged 13yrs-16 yrs requiring nomination outside of nomination windows please contact Noel Speed (