'Huge' opportunities for talented young footballers in new youth partnership
PUBLISHED: 09:39 23 November 2018
Exciting opportunities await aspiring footballers after a new partnership was agreed this week.
Ipswich Town Academy and Lowestoft Town FC are teaming up to unveil a new centre of excellence programme to benefit youth development.
Phil Beale, head of academy recruitment operations at Ipswich Town, said: “We already run a successful partnership with AFC Sudbury on a similar model and we are launching a new centre of excellence with Lowestoft Town, starting with an U13 squad for next season.
“We are looking to develop the players into academy football and we are excited about offering a higher level of football for the boys in this area.”
The new U13 squad will represent the Ipswich Town centre of excellence, in association with Lowestoft Town, as they wear Lowestoft shirts and participate as a team in the Eastern Junior Alliance for the 2019/20 season.
Open trials will be held, with details to follow in the coming weeks, as the U13 team next season will train twice a week, ahead of Sunday matches. The new partnership model with Ipswich Town FC will eventually run for those in the age range from U13 to U16.
“In year two we will run U13 and U14 sides, with an U13, U14 and U15 side in year three and so on,” Mr Beale said.
“Players have a great opportunity to make that progression to academy football, and the progression right through the programme has been fantastic.
“Over the past few seasons, using the model of a team in the Eastern Junior Alliance, we have produced eight academy players in two-and-a-half seasons - that highlights what can be achieved.”
Lowestoft Town assistant manager Andy Reynolds said: “For us, as a club, to now work alongside Ipswich to develop and showcase the talent there is in this area is fantastic. A number of players from this area have gone into professional academies and done well – such as Travis Cole and Jake Reed – and there are players that definitely have the potential, but maybe they need a shop window to further progress. This centre can provide that.”