GRANTHAM Town will once again be able to boast a youth team next season – which may lead to some young talent making it through to the senior Gingerbreads set-up.
Town will be entering an under-16s side in the Junior Premier League utilising players who are moving on from Vale of Belvoir Youth FC under-15s.
Belvoir Youth under-15s manager and qualified coach Eddie Humphreys said the team had performed admirably in the Nottinghamshire Youth League over the last three years.
He said: “When the chance to get involved at Grantham and step up a level came, we were more than happy to help the lads develop and join things at Grantham.”
The Belvoir Youth lads were only formed four years ago but have since consistently had top two or three places in the league and won the Nottinghamshire County Cup twice in three seasons.
Gingerbreads joint boss Wayne Hallcro has helped out with coaching and his son Ben plays in the side. Humphreys said that the team also had coach Stephen Picker on board, who has some experience with Aston Villa.
Grantham Town under-16s’ fixtures will bring the likes of Burton Albion, Kidderminster Harriers, Tamworth and Redditch United to The Meres next season and Humphreys said he thought they stood a good chance.
Humphreys said: “We have played the top two in the league in friendlies last season and others in the top 10 of the league. We did very well against all of them and I see no reason why we can’t take that into the league.”
Humphries and Picker aligned the way their Belvoir under-15s played to that utilitised by Evo-Stik champions Grantham Town towards the end of the season, and Humphries said he saw the new Gingerbreads youth side as a definite route into the senior team.
Humphries said: “The lads are all under 16 on August 31. As they turn 16, they can sign forms for the first team and the intention is to bring a few of them at a time into first team training and hopefully we will see one or two involved in things with the first team in the non-too distant future.
“The club are a self-sufficient side and we are looking forward to our involvement with the Gingerbreads.”
The achievements of Vale of Belvoir Youth Football Club can be seen on their website at www.pitchero.com/clubs/valeofbelvoiryfc/