IT has been a time for celebration for Birkenshaw Blue Dogs Community Rugby League Club this month, with a trio of young stars taking their burgeoning careers to the next level.

They have announced that three promising young players from their under-15s side, George Flanagan Jr (son of current Bradford Bulls player George Flanagan Sr), Joseph Kellett and Joseph Hudson have all been signed on to scholarship programmes with professional clubs.

Flanagan and Kellett are linking up with the Bulls while Hudson has been taken on by Castleford Tigers.

Birkenshaw's club secretary Simon Armitage said: “This is a first for our relatively new, up and coming club and is testament to all the hard work from the players themselves, the coaching staff and their families, who sacrifice so much to give their children such an opportunity.

“Helping players realise their dreams is key to our club’s success and so is giving players of all shapes, sizes and abilities the chance to play rugby league.

“After the junior section was reformed eight years ago and pioneered by Andy Redmond, these are the first boys to achieve scholarships.

“We now have over 140 players playing rugby league at age groups covering from our Pups Programme (3-6), through to U7s, U8s, U9s, U10s, U11s, U12s, U13s and U15s. So whatever levels our players achieve, we’re behind them 100 per cent.”