Pitmen Look To Youth With U21 Team

Hednesford Town Football Club, with their Youth Team coming fresh off the back of a trophy-laden last season, have announced the formation of a new Under-21 set up that will add another level to the development of youngsters at Keys Park.

The new outfit will join the Northern Division of the Midland Combination Under-21 League, pitting their wits against local rivals Chasetown as well as Romulus, Sutton Coldfield and Hinckley United amongst others, and will play their home games on Saturday mornings at Pelsall Villa, 10.30am KO.

The new manager, Mike Smyth, believes the venture could be a real opportunity to further develop Youth Team players and possibly even see some make the step up to the first team like Bradley Grice and Amani Allen before them.

I hope that the introduction of the Under 21’s will help us develop our existing talent and to bring new talent onboard with a view to maybe finding one or two players that Rob Smith and Chris Brindley could call upon for the First Team squad if needed.

Just as importantly though, we want to develop a relationship with the Youth Team. I had a great time assisting Keith Holmes last year and I think we have a good working relationship. If Keith identifies a Youth Team player (or players) that he would like to see play at Under 21 level, we will accomodate them.’

Smyth revealed that his squad will include some of the older lads from last seasons Youth Team talent as well as players who have previously been involved with teams such as Kidderminster Harriers as well as also detailing the make up of his coaching team.

‘I have kept some of last year’s Youth Team who are now too old to play at Floodlit Level and have some very good players players returning back to me from their spells with professional and non-league clubs. Hednesford Town has such a massive name in the area so I have also been approached by numerous players who will be assessed in pre-season training.

This year I am being assisted by Neill Hornby, a coach at Burton Albion Centre of Excellence, and by Simon Mellor who I have worked with for a number of years. Keith Holmes will be the man to identify and recommend any of my players to Rob and Chris if he thinks that they have the necessary ability and attitude. To my knowledge this is a first for the Club and I hope that it will be viewed as a positive in the seasons to come.’

Any players with Professional Football Academy or Midland Floodlit League experience interested in attending pre-season for the Under-21 team are encouraged to contact Mike on 07769 930361. The squad are also keen to bring a trainee physio on board in a role that would suit a graduate or apprentice looking to gain experience.

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