Youth Development Phase Two Update

Youth 1Iain Baxter, AFC Liverpool’s Director of Football, gives us an update on the next phase of the club’s youth development plans.

‘Phase Two of the Youth Development Plan has now been completed with quite a lot of recent activity.

‘During this Phase, the Under 19 team had several players begin training with the First Team, and this resulted in centre forward Callum Morrison being signed and he made his debut against Padiham. Callum played well in this game and the hope will be that other players from this team may make the step up to the First Team squad in due course. The First Team has also already taken several talented players from our associate youth organisation, Onside Academy.

‘I watched the Under 19’s in league action and also took the opportunity of attending matches played by our two Under 11 teams at Sandy Lane, Hightown. Recommendations were made to the respective coaches in relation to the further development of team play, with the Under 11’s focusing on passing and control, core skills and general ball mastery. This will facilitate a way of monitoring skill improvement while allowing the Under 11’s to get on with enjoying their participation in the game which should be treated as fun in those early years.

‘Plans were also further advanced for the setting up of an Under 16 team for next season and coaching material was made available to the coaches with a view to their ongoing development and inclusion in training routines. We hope to have several of our coaches attending FA Courses this summer.

‘A meeting with the Liverpool County FA was also very helpful in relation to the direction our further development may take and that information will be very useful going forward.

‘With the arrival of brighter evenings, the next phase will involve attending training sessions and examining training methods and firming up plans for the Under 16 team that will be an important addition for next season. I also hope to bring together all of our coache and managers for a discussion session where they will be able to meet the First Team management and discuss football related issues in an informal setting. This, in my view, would make everyone connected to our youth set up feel part of the club which, possibly for the first time, has a management team that now has representatives directly involved with the youth development of the club which also includes the Onside Academy.

‘I am confident that the foundation that has been laid over the past few months will continue to develop positively and eventually expand to deliver the club’s development ambitions in the longer term.’

Photo courtesy of Dave Williams.

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