We are real champions of the successes of people from Thanet and it was very pleasing to see seven players from the area in Wednesday’s squad. Wes Hennessey’s strong performance and the fact that we also had four teenagers in the sixteen just highlights the great work of many at the club in creating pathways.
Pathways into our first team and the pro game are an absolute priority for us and we are currently talking to potential partners about the club running a post sixteen academy from next season. The quality and variety of education that these players receive is critical to our decision making. We have a large number of very talented players in our youth teams and we aim to produce a quality programme to provide them with opportunities to be the best they can be both on and off the pitch.Many of these academy players will feature in our u23 teams for whom we have been inviting scouts from professional and non league clubs to all of their games. The aim is passing players onto higher levels and creating loan arrangements with lower league sides to give our players more exposure to adult football.
We have had a good response to this with Louie Procopi being offered a trial with Stockport County in addition to dual signing with Deal Town whilst there remains a lot of interest in a several other players. At the younger Kent league ages we have an eye on fast tracking players into the u23 and first team squads. This means a majority of our Kent league players are competing in the age group above.
Despite the challenge of playing against opposition from an older school year they have been impressing.The growth of our community projects and stadium footfall has seen our team off the field grow and this creates different kinds of pathways away from the pitch.
A good example is Kelsey Knell who has been promoted to bar and kitchen manager. Kelsey, who is a talented footballer herself, is juggling this role with a degree in primary education whilst also running our Southwood haf programme.
As a result of all this positive work we have received notification that we were highly commended at the Kent Mental Wellbeing awards. The panel gave specific praise to the quality of our initiatives and the hard work and dedication of our team to deliver them.
As always I’d like to thank all of our staff for the hard work and dedication to quality that makes our club the success that it has become.
Up The Rams!