This weekend the Reds Academy boys start their introductory Junior Premier League campaign with a round of local cup fixtures against Cumbria Football Academy, NLDCC and Lancashire Academy.
In what has been a tough summer assembling the squads, the U13s to U16s are ready for the tough challenge ahead in their maiden season in the league tinged with apprehension and anticipation.
The JPL is an elite nationwide league that in the north west boasts an array of clubs including Barrow, AFC Flyde, Chorley, Chester City plus professional academy development centres like Manchester City and Oldham Athletic.
As a club we felt the need to challenge the players on a more regular basis stated Brian Dawson, Reds Head of Academy.
He added, ‘Our objective from the start was to develop a realistic pathway and provide the 1st team with a continuous conveyer belt of players’.
‘To a certain extent this is working with numerous development team players getting minutes at the moment.
I anticipate this pathway will only become stronger with the induction of our U13s to U16s entering the JPL which is a very tough league. This is how they develop as footballers’.
‘When we stated our intensions, it was met with some negativity locally. However, I believe the long term benefits will not only help our club but will improve the standard locally as a whole. Not everyone will get the opportunity to play 1st team football here but they will find 1st team football elsewhere and come out of our programme as better footballers, to that I have no doubt’.
The home games will be played at St Benedict’s 4G with kick off times of 10am, 12pm followed by the development teams 2pm starts. So come along and see all the future reds in action!
The coaching staff are as follows:
U13s – Ian Stephenson
U14s – Gareth Agnew
U15s – Craig Johnston
U16s – Conor Cooke