Gosport Borough are launching a new ‘centre of excellence’ to create a pathway to the professional game for talented youngsters when football returns after the coronavirus.
Announced at noon on Friday by the Southern League Premier Division South club’s excited officials, the new youth set-up at Privett Park has been designed to give young players the chance of ultimately playing the game for a living.
The scheme, which has been four months in the making, will be headed up by UEFA B licensed coach Joe Lea and former Boro’ Player of the Season Pat Suraci. Eventually, they’ll oversee the progress of teams from ranging from U9s to U23s.
Next season’s phase one of the plan will establish U23s U18s and U17 sides. An ‘academic football’ option run in partnership with nearby St Vincent College will give youngsters aged 16-18 the option to play and study at the same time while earning a BTECDiploma.
??| BORO’ CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE
A GBFC centre of excellence which will give young players a pathway into the 1st team is being set up next season.
— Gosport Borough FC (@GosportBFC) May 15, 2020
In due course, teams will be developed at all age ranges, offering high-quality coaching and a pathway to play in the semi-professional game. For those good enough, the centre of excellence will also be looking to develop good relationships with the professional clubs in the region to enable those with the best potential to transition into the pro game.
According to a club statement, the Hampshire outfit will also be working closely with sister club Gosport Borough Youth FC to continue offering a high-quality ‘grassroots’ football experience for young players and a route into the new initiative.
Gosport Borough chairman Iain McInnes told fans: “Since I arrived at the club in 2017 I have wanted to establish a system like this for young footballers in the town. In Pat and Joe, I have two talented and ambitious coaches who can make this dream a reality.
“Joe has worked at a Category 1 academy and is a good footballer in his own right, while Pat is well-respected and liked by the fans of the club for his playing ability. Both are keen to make a name in coaching as well. Pat should also become a UEFA B licence holder in the near future.
“For clubs at our level, finding and developing our own talent and progressing them into the semi-professional game and hopefully beyond, makes business sense, as well as instilling a feeling this is a club where young talent in the area can thrive.
“The link with the youth section is vitally important too. Not only can we tap into their experience of administering youth football, we can also help develop their coaches to everyone’s benefit. We want young footballers in Gosport, whatever their level of ability, to feel part of one club.”
Gosport Borough Youth chairman Neal Standley added: “This is a great opportunity for GBYFC and GBFC to work closely together on a very exciting project that will benefit the local footballing talent of Gosport and surrounding areas.”
Trials will be held as soon as lockdown restrictions on playing competitive team sports are lifted. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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