Two of Grantham Town’s youth sides did the Gingerbreads proud with county cup victories at the weekend.
Eddie Humphreys’ under-16s got the ball rolling by defeating Birchwood Colts 2-1 at Sincil Bank in the Lincolnshire County Cup.
The victory was mirrored by Nick Andersen’s under-12s who beat Birchwood in the Lincs Echo League Cup Final at Sleaford Town FC.
The two sides will form an integral part of Grantham Town’s new youth set-up next season.
As well as managing the under-18s next season, Humphreys will become the club’s head of youth development. He said: “We are now well advanced with plans for next season and we want to build on the success of these two teams as well as the current under-18 Sunday side.
“We will be adding another team at under-16 level into the Midlands Junior Premier League and also a mixed under-14/15 side which will be a development squad playing professional and semi-professional clubs’ academies.”
The Gingerbreads will also be running at least one other team at a younger age group. Dates for team trials will be released shortly.
Morris Barnes, who has previously run academies at Peterborough Utd and Lincoln City, will continue to coach next season’s Grantham Town under-18s and will become coaching development officer.
He said: “The current under-16s’ biggest development to present is their ability to quickly learn and take on board new coaching themes and turn it into playing power.
“They are developing standards that are used at professional clubs’ academies and certain individuals are proving to be quite inspirational at putting training into practice on the pitch.”
Grantham Town chairman Pete Railton was delighted with the achievements of the two youth teams.
Mr Railton said: “These two trophies are tremendous confidence boosters for our new youth programme and reflect enormous credit not only on the players, but their two managers.
“Their success has already attracted interest from other clubs and the achievements of these two teams will launch us into next season with a tremendous spirit of optimism.
“We have attracted a very strong coaching staff with the objective of developing players of high quality through the age groups, right up to first team level”
+ For information on the Grantham Town youth set-up, contact secretary Jackie Humphreys on 07912 384178 or jackie.humphreys@ nottingham.ac.uk
Grantham Town 2
Birchwood Colts 1
Grantham Town came into the game in fine form, scoring 26 goals in their last four games.
Two outstanding first half strikes, both converted by Jake Hardy following pinpoint passes from Niall Doherty, put the Gingerbreads in control.
During a dominant 20- minute spell in the second period, they hit the woodwork three times as they tore Birchwood apart.
Against the run of play, they were caught on the counter with 15 minutes left, setting up a nervy finish.
But Town they kept cool heads and inflicted Birchwood’s first defeat of the season to lift the trophy.
Grantham Town 1
Grantham Town added to their league runners-up success with a fantastic victory in the Lincs Echo Cup Final.
Lewis Brady’s excellent cross into the box gave Tom Andersen the opportunity to score from a fantastic volley to give the Gingerbreads a deserved lead as they dominated in all areas of the pitch.
With the clock ticking down and Town in control, Birchwood broke, but their excellent shot on target was diverted around the post with the save of the season from man-of-the-match Campbell Williams.