Grantham Town hope to have youth set-up ready for next season

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Wheels have been set in motion to set up a Youth Football Development Centre at Grantham Town in time for next season.

A committee is being set up to make the plans become a reality and the club this week said they were “delighted” with the calibre of coaches that responded to the Gingerbreads’ initial request for help.

Applicants include those with Centre of Excellence and Academy backgrounds, as well as less experienced but equally enthusiastic budding coaches.

The club intends to have teams at under-18, under-16, under-15, under-13 and under-12 in the first season, expanding to under-10 upwards from thereon. Trials for all age groups are likely to be held between April and June.

It is hoped at least two teams will play in the Junior Premier League Midlands Division, with the remainder contesting at a more local level.

There are also plans afoot to set up a Saturday Soccer School for four to nine-year-olds with the intention for conditioning players to be ready to step straight into the under-10 side when they are old enough.

Ultimately, the hope is that youngsters will progress into the Grantham Town first team – and perhaps even higher up the football ladder.

Former Grantham Town midfielder Nick Andersen currently manages the club’s under-12s, and is a driving force behind the ambitious plans.

Nick said: “I’m really pleased that the club has decided to put a large focus on developing its own players. Given the current financial climate it is a very sensible thing to do and we are confident that there is enough talent in the area to make this work.

“We are currently setting up an infrastructure so that it becomes a sustainable system. I am particularly excited about the formation of the Saturday Soccer School and the potential that arises from that.

“We are really keen to build on the momentum that the current group of youngsters we have at the club have provided, and as long as everyone pulls in the same direction, the future of the club is certainly bright.”

Players interested in registering for a trial should contact either Eddie Humphreys at eddie.humphreys@virginmedia.com or Nick Andersen at quincycole@aol.com

Potential coaches and anyone interested in setting up a women’s team should also make either Eddie or Nick their first contact.