It’s been a really promising start to our new u19 program this season in Partnership with our learning providers Weston College.
Despite the relegation of the first team, Weston u19s enjoyed a successful first season back in the National Alliance League, finishing a respectable 8th in the league and enjoying a fantastic run to the quarter final of the national cup, beating teams such as AFC Wimbledon and Sutton United along the way. The National Alliance league is very competitive and getting back into the league this season was very important to us as a club to aid the development of our home grown players. Already, in our first season back in the league, we have seen players such as Cory Thomas-Barker, Dan Ferguson and Sam Parkinson-Harvey join u19 captain Tom Llewellyn in forcing their way into the first team squad. Superb achievement by all involved and with the quality of the younger players coming through behind them, we certainly should see more players following in their footsteps.
As a result of the newly reformed u19s, this season became somewhat of a transitional season for Mark Jenkins, Syd Camper and their u18 squad. With a big chunk of the u18 players moving into the u19 squad, we made the decision to play mainly u17 players in the Somerset Floodlit u18 league. Although challenging in terms of results, it was a fantastic opportunity to give members of our u16 squad the chance to play u18 competitive football much earlier than they previously may have. Again this has been huge for us in terms of player development. The good news is that we managed to avoid relegation from the Premier division of the league and I have no doubt that going into next season we will be much better equipped to be more competitive in the division.
Any academy will always be judged on the number of first team players it produces. In the first teams final game, it was great to see that 6 members of the 16 man squad were products of the academy. I thoroughly believe that over the next few seasons this number will only get higher as the academy goes from strength to strength. We are always looking to add quality players to our already strong set-up and in the coming weeks we will be holding open trials for all academy age groups. Please keep checking our social media sites and web pages for more info and how to get involved.
I’d like to thank all the players and staff for all their hard work and efforts this season and I’m already looking forward to what next season will bring.
The future is definitely looking exciting!