Due the fallout from the Beast From The East, writes Jason Brindley, all pitch activity has been cancelled over the weekend. Multiple fixtures are affected, including our U-9s participating in a football festival at Liverpool and our U-13s against Stoke City. So, due to the cold weather, we look forward instead to what we have upcoming, including some much warmer weather experiences.
We are delighted to be invited again to participate in the Jamon Cup. The tournament is in Calamocha, Spain, and features all the top teams from across the country, including Barcelona and Real Madrid.
The New Saints are the only non-Spanish team to enter and we are honoured to be taking a squad again in June this year. It is an amazing experience for our young Saints. It’s amazing to get invited and to offer our players these types of experiences.
We have fantastic connections with the Spanish Federation; we often host their coaches for work experience. We have had some brilliant personell like Jaume, Alejandro, David and Daniel and they add to what we provide with our Academy. They bring a different coaching style and knowledge to share with our coaches and players, whilst also learning our own methodology.
At the end of this month we travel to France with two age groups to participate in two separate tournaments. This is on the back of another competition that we entered a couple of years ago. We have now been back twice, although this is the first Easter trip.
There are teams throughout Europe that enter, so again, it’s great experience for our players to play against different footballing styles and football cultures. We like to expose our players to foreign tournaments, it’s good for the learning process. It teaches players how to adapt in a competitive environment, but also develops a really good bond between them.
We aim to make it as professional as possible and no stone will be left unturned in terms of preparation and detail. It’s important that the players know that this isn’t a mini-break but an opportunity to go and impose themselves on a tournament. This is an opportunity to increase the awareness of the football club through the professional standards that we aim to achieve, both on and off the field. We want to continue to build links and relationships with other clubs on a more global scale and to increase our network of ‘football friends’.
Closer to home, we look forward to a hectic March in the penultimate month for our Academy. Our U-12s/U-14s/U-16s will wrap up their Academy Cup programmes as they aim to secure top 2 places in the FAW Super Six League. We look forward to hosting two football festivals at Park Hall Stadium – U-7s and U-8s – and with lots of different teams participating it will be great to see so many youngsters enjoying football on our first team pitch.
Our U-10s are off to Liverpool next weekend to take part in a football festival and we travel to Crewe Alexandra at the end of the month – both great experiences for our youngsters.
Over the course of what has been a long but enjoyable season thus far, we must always take time to reflect. To see our youngsters develop as much as they have this season through daily contact, not only as players but as people, is what it’s all about in youth football.
To see our players move on to top Academies, through our training programme, and to progress to that higher level is fantastic. We want our players to fulfil their potential at the highest level. We feel we are starting to achieve that now. With the opportunities and experiences we provide, there is no better place.
To find out more about the Academy set-up at The New Saints FC, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org