Newport Town FC to launch football academy for youngsters
Newport Town Football Club has revealed it is launching a professional-style academy to nurture stars of the future.
It is part of the club's expansion plans and its ambitions to build a new home within the town, complete with artificial pitches, children's pitches and a full-size adult pitch.
From this summer, about 100 children aged eight to 14 will train under professional coaches from Double Touch Coaching, which include former Wolverhampton Wanderers ace Adam Proudlock.
Children aged 11 upwards will train twice a week.
Next season the club, which at the moment has just has one senior team, will field junior teams right from under-eights to under-14s on Saturdays.
And Newport Town has forged links with clubs including West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City so that any of its players who show potential could join up with the professional clubs and their academies.
Club chairman Phil Lewis said the move would help the club grow and would help with its bid to secure some land to build new facilities which could be used by the wider community.
He said: "These are really exciting times for the club. We want some land we can develop.
"Newport needs pitches and it needs pitches with floodlights.
"There are no Astroturf pitches in the town. All of these we want to provide."
Mr Lewis said initial talks had been held with councillors and Sport England over the possibility of acquiring some suitable land.
He said: "The land is the key thing. If we can get that then there are lots of funding options we can look at.
"Conversations so far have been positive."
The club also has long-term plans of supporting disability and blind teams.
Adam Proudlock's talent was spotted when he was just 11 while at Newport's Nova United Football Club.
He went on to score 17 goals for Wolves and also enjoyed spells at Sheffield Wednesday, Stockport County and later AFC Telford United.
He said that the club's new academy could see other boys from the town succeed in the game.
"This could be massive for Newport," he said.
The junior teams will train at RAF Cosford until Town finds a home. Trials are being held at the airbase from June 14.
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