|Posted by CAFS on September 11, 2017 at 5:10 AM|
So we're not usually ones to shout about the success stories of the children we have worked with in the past, usually right at the start of their footballing journey, but the time has definitely come to do so. If the environment is right and by right, we mean appropriate and challenging for the specific needs of the individual player, then development happens and the children can progress onto higher levels of the game and this is something that we are pasionate about. Children, as they become players will find their level in the game and for some that is at the elite level of professional academies. So today we want to share some of the best stories of children that have come to us at a young age, developed and enjoyed our sessions, fostering a love of the game, and gone on to get contracts with professional academies.
First up is Harvey Swain. Harvey came to us through our after school clubs and half term camps way back in 2011 at the age of just 5 and stayed with us through until 2016. Harvey also attended 1:1 sessions with our head coach Steve Hooper and our Development Centre initiative during his time with Inclusion/CAFS.This coupled with match practice through his local club Bishops Cannings YFC and JPL outfit FC Wiltshire has allowed Harvey multiple environments to develop in and we are delighted that following trials at Swindon Town and Bournemouth, Harvey signed papers with Bristol Rovers for U11 and has since progressed into the U12 squad.
Our second story follows Owen Allison, another player that started within our After School programme and stayed with us for around 2 years. Owen also attended our Half Term camps alongside his match practice at Melksham Town Youth, then following a short period within a development centre running by Reading FC coaches, made the step to Bristol City, once again linking up with our Head Coach and BCFC Foundation Phase coach Steve Hooper.Following an extended trial, Owen was offered a contract at U9 age. He has since progressed through the age groups and has developed as a player through U9, 10, 11 and now 12's. Owen continus to develop and grow as a player through their Academy programme.
Our third story is a real success for not only us but also the player. Reece Hulland first attended Inclusion/CAFS at the age of 4 through our After School programme. During his 4 years attending, much like Havey, Reece touched every area of our football school, attending 1:1 session, pairs sessions, after school clubs, half term camps and our development centre sessions. This all resulted in Reece developing a fantastic skill set and a good understanding of the game even before the age of 9. During Reece's time with us he was part of our trip to Bristol City Academy where he was picked out as a stand out and offered a short trial. Following this and some time within the Bristol Rovers set up, all the time of course getting his match practice at local club Devizes Town FC, Reece was offered a trial and then ultimately a contract within the Swindon Town Academy.
Story number 4 follows Leon Hardman, now signed for Swindon Town academy. Leon came into our programme following our move to state of the art facility Beversbrook Sports Facility and lit the group up with his infectious positive attitude and tenacity to win the ball. Leon attended our half term camps during an 18 month period and was also part of our Development Centre initiative. Leon was part of a group of players to visit Bristol City and again was one picked out by the academy coaches. Leon, through our programme and work at his grass roots club, FC Calne, including hugely important game time was quickly offered a trial and then subsequent contract with Swindon Town FC and continues to represent the club at U10 level along with Reece, the two can be seen below at a recent fixture for the academy.
So as i am sure is becoming apparent from the success stories we have shared with you today, the best way to develop is through multiple environments, game time and a love of the game. Also a few age appropriate, experienced and qualified coaches on the way including FA Level 2, UEFA B License and FA Youth Awards that have worked within the pro academy game, has been a huge help for these young lads that are on the journey to finding their appropriate level, even if that means all the way to the pro game. If not, the door is always open for their continued devlopment through our programme designed by our highly experienced youth coaching team and our name of the door Charlie Austin.
Well done to all the lads featured in this piece and may the journey continue for them and hopefully many more.
Until next time.....