As One Academy Season Concludes, Another Begins

As one season concludes, another begins, writes Jason Brindley. Last week we began open trials at Park Hall Stadium as we look to recruit players to join our successful Academy.

Open trials are also running this week. It was great to see so many new players and the pitch was alive with energy and optimism. Trials are always a difficult process; we want the boys to feel relaxed and to express themselves.

We appreciate it can be nervy at times so we aim to create a good environment where players can show what they can do through small-sided games but also, which is very important, to have fun and enjoy themselves.

International Football Festival

If you are interested in attending trials this week please contact me at

On top of the trials we also had some fantastic fixtures over the weekend. On Friday evening we held the second annual TNS International Football Festival at Park Hall Stadium. This year we played a three team tournament, featuring our U13s, Shrewsbury Town and Dutch team Koninklijke HFC.

Lining up for the national anthems

We decided to have less teams than last year and to open the pitch up, playing 18 yards to 18 yards. It was a good experience for our team, playing 11-a-side for the first time, against two good opposition sides.

Our U14s had two top quality experiences over the weekend, with fixtures against Everton (lead photograph) and Swansea City. We spoke to two of the players, Harley and Jay, about their thoughts on the weekend and being a part of our Academy as a whole, following the game against Swansea.

On the Academy road at Swansea City

“How has it benefited you this weekend?” U14s coach, Danny Bell, asked both youngsters:

“Yeah, very good. A good experience to play against top quality opposition. You need to play well against these teams, individually and as a team, as they move the ball much quicker. You learn to capitalise and it brings the best out of you.” Harley replied.

Jay commented: “Not every 13-year-old gets to play against English Premier League sides like we experience frequently as being part of The New Saints FC Academy. It’s a privilege; I feel very lucky to be part of this football club.”

To conclude the weekend, our U9s travelled to face Llay and our U8s to face local side Oswestry Boys Club. Both teams put in some excellent performances; to see how these boys have developed technically and socially over last season is brilliant.

I know I keep banging on about it but really there is nowhere better locally for boys to develop, have fun, make friends and have experiences against the best teams from around the UK and further.

This coming weekend our U15s travel to France for an international football tournament, which is another great experience and opportunity for our young Saints. Good luck to those boys travelling and taking part.


Jason Brindley is the head of our Academy at Park Hall and you can contact him via the email address in the report.



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