Micky Collins believes there is a clear route to the First Team emerging at Sevenoaks Town FC.
On the back of a string of summer developments, Collins feels the future looks bright for youngsters at the club.
This season the club has launched an U21's team who will play in the Suburban League. The team will be training with the U18's who will play in the Kent Youth League Premier Division and FA Youth Cup. The coaching for the combined squads will be led by Scott Chalmers-Stevens and Nicky Southall. This structure is aimed at helping to develop the young talent at the club in preparation for senior football.
Last season, Collins gave four sixteen year olds First Team debuts and a number of last years U16's were invited to train with the First Team. Meanwhile Jack Miles, a former youth player at the club, established himself in the team winning Manager's Player of the Season.
The step between youth football and the First Team has proved a difficult one to bridge for many clubs. However, Collins feels the investment in top quality coaches and a clear player pathway will help change matters.
Collins said: “We are making significant changes with the structure of the U18's, U21's and our Reserves. We will hand pick the highest quality youth players and bring them into the U21's and Reserves to aid their development as young footballers.”
“We have launched our Player Pathway for U7's to U18's this season and the next step was to put in place a structure that would help bridge the gap between our U18's and the First Team. We have created a structure that means the U18's and U21's are effectively one squad. They will be coached by Scott and Nicky and as these players progress they will have an opportunity to experience Reserves football, before being given an opportunity to get involved with the First Team."
Chairman, Paul Lansdale, added: “The club will provide whatever support is required to help bring these players up to the quality necessary to make our First Team.”
The respective teams will be managed by:
U18's - Darren Mace
U21's - Scott Chalmer-Stevens
Reserves - Brad Draper