Cheltenham Town Youth Development Scheme
|Cheltenham Town Youth Development Scheme|
On entry to the Football League in 1999 Cheltenham Town FC made the very positive step in launching and implementing a youth development scheme. With Cheltenham Town FC being the only full time Football League Cub in Gloucestershire the first steps were taken to create a foundation to offer opportunities for local players, via a programme of excellence, to enter the professional game.
The Centre of Excellence was opened in season 1999 / 2000 to cater for age groups U13 to U16 who trained twice per week with teams competing in centres football against other League Clubs. The programme was rapidly expanded to include age groups from U8 through to U18 over the next three years where to date approximately 120 registered schoolboy’s train two – three times per week in addition to 18 full time youth team apprentices and trainees.
Through a structured programme of technical and holistic development we aim to provide the best opportunities for locally based players in and around Gloucestershire to learn and develop in a safe and guided environment. Our central objective is for individuals to ultimately progress into professional football.
For a player to be successful at any level he must be given the right environment in which to perform. Individual playing ability is a key to success but this is by no means the only factor. We know that the players who make it in football are those who’s attitude and make up is geared towards the goal of becoming a ‘professional footballer’. Our aim at Cheltenham Town FC is to educate our players in ALL aspects of training to be a professional so that we can maximise their chances of success through providing the right environment.
We take an interest in all aspects of the development of our players and this includes progress made at school since it is vital that our youngest do not fall into the trap of ignoring their studies in pursuit of their dream. To this end, we aim to provide liaison between the club, school and parents.
We can only do this in co-operation with parents and other helpers and we as a club recognise the vital importance of this partnership to which we must all be committed.
Each player will receive two written and two verbal reports over the season which will be produced by the age group coach and the Head of Youth Development.
Meetings are held at the training ground for every signed player and parent in November / December with the second meeting in March. It will be at these meetings where players receive feedback on their progress within the Centre. Additional parents meetings are held at least twice per year where issues on youth development are discussed.
We place a strong emphasis on every player’s education. By developing a positive relationship between each player, parent, school and the Football Club we aim to create an environment which supports the individual’s educational needs and ask that each schoolboy works to their full potential.
It is important that Parents and Players are aware of the information supplied by the Football League in the Parents and Players Handbook, in particular the Key Dates, in addition to the Club’s own Parents Information Booklet.
We monitor the number of games each boy plays but as the players progress through the age groups we ask the players to limit the number of games with external teams, however it is always an honour to represent the County and your Country and these players are encourage to represent these sides if selected.