U18s set to join senior clubs on short term work experience to aid development
Shrewsbury Town’s Academy have launched a new programme where their U18s will go out for to gain work experience in senior football. The players have joined some local clubs on loan over the festive period to help aid their development and experience playing men’s football.
Development Phase Coach Callum McKenzie spoke to Shrewsweb about the new initiative.
“It’s a work experience loan. The U18s programme over Christmas period is a little stop start so we want to try and keep them active and find opportunities for them to play and train with other clubs. Men’s football at different levels, It might be the Midlands League or Evo Stik League level.
“They have all been tasked with finding their own clubs and over the next three or four weeks will be training or playing with those clubs.
“It’s quite a unique thing that the whole squad are going out and doing it. I was speaking to our representative from the LFE and she was a little bit unsure as to whether we could actually do this to this extent.
“We have done it and credit to the players for going out and finding the clubs themselves, and if it works then we’ll roll it out again I’m sure.
“Some of them have been involved with the senior team, whether it be through the Central League Cup or the Checkatrade Trophy but some haven’t so it’s a way of them all being exposed to men’s football, the physicality of it, the demands of it and seeing how they cope.
“With our U18s going out and playing football it creates an opportunity for the younger players to step in to the U18s programme, they will get stretched in the same way that the U18s do at the senior level.
“Quite a few came through last year, I suppose James Rowland is the most recent and most of note as he made his first team debut this year. It definitely helped him so we hope it’s the same this year.
“There’s always a chance at Shrewsbury Town for progression. We want the progression from age group to age group to be seamless. The 15s and 16s are a joint training group anyway. We only keep the best U15s on as we want to give them the best opportunity to play at U16s level and we want the better U16s to play U18s football. They’ve got to be familiar with playing older age groups when they get to men’s football.”
Players Confirmed: Dan Walker (Haughmond FC), Jack Leask (Haughmond FC), Archie Elmore (Harborough Town)
Waiting on paperwork: Kian Taylor (Coalville Town), Ryan Grosvener (Lye Town), Luke Ward (Halesowen), Jamaine Turner (Shifnal), Reiss Corfield (Bridgenorth), James Rowland (AFC Wulfrinians)