STAMFORD AFC is continuing to build for the future as it expands its youth set up.
The club has rebranded the junior section and is now calling it the Stamford AFC Football Development Centre.
It comes as the club now offers football to youngsters from the age of six all the way up to the under 18s, under 21s and reserves up to the first team.
Stamford has 200 registered players, six teams, and for the first time, every male age group from under seven to under 21 will be represented, in addition to four female teams.
This season the club coaches will be formally licensed by the Football Association and receive in course training throughout the season as part of their personal technical development.
The club achieved the FA Charter Standard in March which provides the opportunity to progress to the status of FA Community Development Club. This has started with the formation of a partnership with Rutland County College to offer a sports development course for post 16 pupils.
The club has relied on a committee to run the youth set up but has now formalised the management structure by the formation of a development board.
Ian Eveley is the board’s chairman and said it was an exciting time for the Daniels.
He said the move would improve the set up for youngsters by providing more continuity from one age group to the next and the set up would provide more stability for the junior teams.
He said: “We want to provide a pathway from junior football all the way through to the first team.
“We want to encourage as many young people as possible to play football and integrate the club with the community.”
The focus on youth could help bring in funding to improve facilities. Achieving FA Community Development Club status would help the club secure funding from the Football Foundation.
Long term this could help push the Daniels further up the league structure.
Ian said: “The steps between the divisions is significant but if you have the infrastructure in place you stand a better chance.”
The development board has assumed immediate responsibility for all Stamford AFC teams with the exception of the first team.
Each team within the club has its own management and coaching team supported by the development board, but all teams will now assume a single identity which Ian says will consolidate the feeling of belonging to a club for all players, coaches, sponsors and parents.
The development board comprises Ian; Guy Walton, football operations officer, also a director of Stamford AFC senior club; Jason Boud, coaching and player development officer; and Peter Rowbotham, welfare and educational liaison officer.
l Stamford AFC U11s are looking for players to join their team. The side plays in division one of the Peterborough Junior Alliance and trains on Tuesday evenings.Call Paul Truscott on 07761 673966.