McKenzie promoted to Professional Development Phase CoachCallum McKenzie is excited by the potential within Shrewsbury Town’s Academy, after he was promoted to the role of Professional Development Phase Coach.
Callum was previously working with the age groups from Under 11s to Under 14s and will now move up to work with the Under 15s, 16s and 18s.
Callum has been with the club’s Academy for three years and is looking forward to taking over from Matt Rains, who left in January.
“I’m really pleased”, Callum told ShrewsWeb.
“Knowing the players that are now in the under 15s and 16s when they were 13 and 14 is obviously a good thing for them.”
“I’m familiar with their strengths and weaknesses. I have a lot of confidence in them and I’m looking forward to working with them and hopefully pushing them forward to our Under 18s scholarship programme in a couple of years’ time.
“I think it’s vital to know the players. Had a new member of staff come in they could be the most incredible coach in the world, but they don’t really know anything about the players.
“I think knowing the players, their strengths, weaknesses, what they are like socially, their backgrounds, whether they need an arm round the shoulder or a kick up the backside, will stand them in good stead.”
Town have been very successful in providing players for the first team in recent seasons and Callum has high hopes for the future.
“We’ve got some of our home grown Under-16s now getting scholarships, which is great”, said McKenzie.
“Our Under-15s coming through are very good and we’ve got high hopes for that group. And the 14s group that I’m working with this year have come on a lot.
“So, hopefully in 12 months’ time we will have a full quota of home grown scholars going into our programme and that is something we are really looking forward to.
“I’ve been with the Academy for three years and we’ve made massive strides in the last three years. We’ve had some really good recruitment. Coaching sessions are better, facilities are getting better and I don’t think, with the staff that are coming in now, that the Academy has been in a better position.
“I think that any player currently in the programme or looking to get into an Academy programme shouldn’t look any further than Shrewsbury Town at the moment because we’ve got a really clear pathway into our first team and that’s something that our players should aspire to do.”