To all development programme players and parents.
The season just finished has been a fantastic one for all players involved in our development programme.
The feedback I have received has been very positive and our players continue to impress in training.
Three players from the development programme recently joined the academy and all of us at the club are very hopeful of many more making similar progress.
Over the course of the season, a great deal of hard work has played a big part in the structure of our development programme.
We have enjoyed great success together with ticket initiatives, which saw 1,500 players and parents from Leeds, Sheffield and Chesterfield watching our first team play. This is something we hope to do in the future as we believe this to be a fantastic opportunity for our young players to be a part of our club.
We are very hopeful that our Grassroots Partnership Programme will now gather pace, with our club and grassroots working together in a mutually positive and beneficial partnership.
Now we have laid very solid foundations in development, we anticipate a bright 2013/2014 season. This is signalled by the appointment of Eric Nixon as the full-time goalkeeper coach. Eric will work with the first team, academy and development keepers alongside Jon Anderson. Eric is a well-travelled coach, who started out at Manchester City and played for numerous clubs, most notably Tranmere Rovers for whom he made over 300 appearances.
We had a tremendous tour of Holland at Easter which was enjoyed by all and provided a fantastic experience for all the players who embarked on the trip. We now plan to take our players to Germany in what we feel will be a very positive, footballing experience. All players have worked hard to develop, grow and show their potential and we hope this continues as part of our tour to Germany.
With all of our development fixtures now being played at home at Springwell Community College, we can envisage the future for all our players being one of learning, enjoyment and progression. The attendance at training and matches for our first team manager and coaching staff, academy director and youth coaches show the club to be united in developing young players, so the future is very bright indeed.