Shrewsbury Town and AFC Telford United have formed and signed a new academy partnership that aims to benefit both academies now and into the future.
The agreement will strengthen and benefit both academies and help them compete with other clubs. Both Shrewsbury and Telford are hugely impressed by each other’s academies and both have recent successes in academy players training and playing with their respective first teams.
This new academy partnership agreement between Shrewsbury and Telford includes:
- Working together to raise the profile of both academies.
- Ensure trial and development processes are aligned and cooperative.
- Highlight academy players to each other for trial and development.
- Notify interest in players from other clubs and give each other first refusal.
- Collaborative trial and coaching days.
- Both clubs to provide advanced notice of any player releases.
- Shrewsbury Town FC to offer suitable players to AFC Telford United's first team on loan.
- Shrewsbury to offer Continuing Professional Development (CPD) access to Telford coaches.
- The clubs to highlight to each other prospective players, coaches, and volunteers.
- Joint sponsorship days working together to raise academy sponsorship for both clubs.
- Games at different age groups between the two academies.
- Academy player access to first-team games of both clubs.
- Regular meetings between the two clubs' academy management.
- Benefit from cooperating and sharing academy communication and comms.
- Annual First team pre-season fixture between the two clubs.
Academy Director David Longwell said:
"Since I came in here, we've developed a really good relationship with Telford for a variety of different reasons. After getting to know the guys there and what they're doing and playing their teams, we saw an opportunity for us to work together. From our own point of view, it opens up another opportunity for our kids and we've had a lot of kids who have come from Telford and the surrounding areas who are now within our setup. For example, Dan Udoh's younger brother plays in our Under-13s and he's come from AFC Telford and done really well. It just shows you that they've got good players there and this link that we've got can create those opportunities.
"On the other side of things - because it's got to benefit both clubs - there are also opportunities for us to send players on loan to Telford to try and create that relationship with them moving forward. There are a lot of positives with that and I've got to credit Luke at Telford, who I've been dealing with on a regular basis; I think he and Andy have done a great job and I think it's only going to be positive for the future."
AFC Telford United Football Operations Manager Luke Shelly said:
“I am delighted that we have created an academy partnership with Shrewsbury Town which will give players and coaches at both clubs an opportunity to progress their careers in the game. Over many seasons now, we have seen several academy players move between the two clubs permanently and on loan.’’