FOOTBALL: Hunt will head Grantham Football Development Centre

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The launch of the new Football Development Centre in September this year as part of a partnership between Grantham Town and Grantham College moved a step closer this week.

The centre is for young players who want to become a semi-professional footballer or are interested in the management and coaching side of the game and will be led by head coach Stephen Hunt, a former Notts County professional.

As a pro, Hunt made close to 200 appearances for Notts County and Lincoln City. He was part of the Magpies’ run to the fifth round of the FA Cup, eventually ended by Fulham at Craven Cottage where he was chosen as man of the match. He spent six seasons at Meadow Lane and was made captain of the club at 23 years old, winning the League Two title with the club in the 2009-2010 season when the team set a new club record of 26 clean sheets.

Hunt spent three months in Seattle, Washington, assisting the set-up and day to day running of a prestigious soccer academy. On his return to the UK, he joined Notts County Football in the Community and since September 2014 has coached and managed the Notts County Futsal programme.

Hunt said his passion for football arose from watching his father play semi-professionally: “He noticed my talent and enthusiasm for the game from a very young age. We spent countless afternoons, evenings and weekends practising.

“I was very privileged to have received a lot of time and dedication from numerous coaches throughout my playing career. I am very passionate about passing on the knowledge and experience I have acquired over the years.”

The launch of the Gingerbreads’ football development centre in partnership with the town’s college is one of the club’s major business plans for next season.

GTFC chief executive officer Keith Horton said: “I am extremely pleased we have managed to secure the services of such a high profile coach in Stephen Hunt to work with the centre and deliver the success that the town of Grantham so richly deserves.”

Players on the course will receive coaching and will also gain academic qualifications and play matches against teams at a similar level in a competitive league.

For further information on the Football Development Centre, visit www.grantham.ac.uk/fdc or contact either Grantham College sports studies lecturer Bob Harris on 01476 404365, or by email at bharris@grantham.ac.uk or Russ Cousins on 07539 644160 or rcousins1983@gmail.com