FOOTBALL | Cheltenham Town Academy launch Hereford development centre

The Cheltenham Town Academy are delighted to announce our new development centre in Hereford for players aged 7 to 14 and 16 to 19 (post 16).

The development centre will work within the Academy EPPP Category 3 guidelines.

The main aim of the centre is to develop players to become the best that they can be, provide opportunities for players to play at the highest level possible and in a safe environment.

Academy Manager Antoine Thompson said: “The development centre will be managed by Andy Bevan who has a good track record of developing footballers and creating an enjoyable, positive learning environment.

“The Hereford site will work in conjunction with our Cheltenham site. Hence, we will have two development centres feeding directly into our academy.

“Herefordshire has an abundance of talented footballers. With the right coaching and games programme and opportunities, I am confident we can produce more professional footballers and/or help players to make a living in non-league.”

The post 16 programme will start as soon as academy football can recommence following Premier League and EFL guidelines. The post 16 programme will help bridge the gap from youth to senior football.

The players need to be challenged younger, thus the post 16s will compete in the under-18 and under-21s Midland Leagues.

Furthermore, we have created a link with local club Hinton FC, who have been incredibly supportive to us.

We are still looking to create more links with local clubs to give our players the best opportunities possible to develop.

Our under-21s will play some of their home matches at the Academy training ground. In the 2021/2022 season we plan to run a full-time post 16 programme in Hereford and partner with a local college.

Furthermore, we will be running a foundation phase programme for ages 7-11 year olds and 13/14s side.

Many of the players and coaches have worked under Andy Bevan previously and we will run four teams in the Junior Premier League (JPL) following on from last season’s successes.

Andy Bevan said: “Cheltenham Academy Manager Antoine (Thompson) and I spoke numerous times and we both shared a massive passion for making this work.

“To prove so we have had full board and head of football approval within this timescale, which shows the level of commitment given by all parties.

“This is a massively exciting time for all involved with so much work and planning gone into the scheduling around the programme, it is now starting to pay-off. I can now see, some potentially great opportunities for our boys.

“It is also great for players who may have thought that they may have missed a chance to realise a dream and play football at a decent level and who also may just be late developers.

“The under-21s is exciting as for me the post 16 teams will all be about development rather than results, hence the project to field younger players. Players will be integrated for trials into the academy once they show they are ready.”

To apply for trials please contact Andy Bevan by emailing: andybevanctfcdc@gmail.com