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Interviews

David Longwell Academy update

27 March 2020

David Longwell provides an Academy update.

Shrews Academy Manager David Longwell is pleased to report Town’s youngsters are still receiving coaching and exercises to utilise whilst working from home.

Despite travel and movement restrictions, Town’s Academy members have all been given fitness programmes that comply with Government and EFL guidance.

David Longwell provided the following update on how Town’s Academy is functioning during the Coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19). He said: “Right from the start of things, the under 18's had a fitness programme to follow. We have been making sure they have been keeping up and doing the things they need to do.

"The 18's have a more in-depth strength and fitness programme. We have also done the same with the 16's. The 13's to 15's also had their own programme. They all have different things depending on their age level.

"The main thing for us is to keep them active. At least they can get out of the house once a day and do fitness. Everyone has to make sure there is social distancing and they are keeping themselves safe.

"We do everything through an app. We have also been sending the lads footage of games which is another thing to focus on. They will analyse the game and then fill in a survey.

"It's just another thing to keep them thinking about football. First and foremost, these things are for their own health and fitness. Having something like this will keep their minds and bodies active.

"When we do come back, they will be in reasonable condition - unless they sit on their PlayStation all day! The main thing for us is that we support the players and the parents.

"Once a week we will be doing Zoom chats so they have that contact with the coaches. We are doing as much as we can to maintain that engagement. Having a link with them is essential and is key at this moment in time."

David also confirmed his squad of players have all been encouraged to challenge their footballing skills with the STFC Academy 12 challenge. 

"This is a difficult time for everybody, particularly parents and kids," said Longwell. "One of our coaches, Charlie Musselwhite, had an idea to put this 12-day day challenge together.

"We also have an app where we communicate to all the parents and kids, so we're using that in a really good way at the moment. The challenges are to try and give the kids something to engage with every day, which also helps out the parents.

"We are trying to keep the kids busy and burning that energy. We want to inspire young kids and want to give them something to do every day - it has been good and everyone is working really hard with it.

"We would like all of the Academy lads to do it. Everyone can see how powerful football is and the loss has been hard for everyone to take in. Often, football is a huge part of peoples lives. Hopefully these challenges give the lads a focus - they can use football in a real positive way.

"Dave Edwards has done nearly every day. Hopefully the first-team lads can get on these challenges. They are a real inspiration to the young lads. The fans can also stick theirs on Twitter. If they're good enough,  we will give it a retweet. After this challenge, we will be doing other things to keep the lads busy."


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