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Academy

Under-18s: Planning well underway for next group of scholars

21 January 2020

Preparations for the new intake of under-18s scholars for the 2020/21 season are already well underway at Cheltenham Town.

The process of young players progressing through the club's academy into next season's under-18s group falls into place over the festive period as Pete Haynes looks to the next generation of talent to enter his side.

This season the under-18s have reached the FA Youth Cup third round, where they took Arsenal all the way to penalties, while a number of scholars have appeared for the first team in the Leasing.com Trophy and League Two.

Now a new group of 15 and 16 year olds will be gearing up for their GCSEs and mulling over offers to become scholars at the club next season.

"Our current under-16s has always been a strong age group," Haynes explained. "That culminated in the great performance in the Floodlit Cup final where they were unlucky to lose on penalties.

"All scholarship decisions have to be made by Christmas. We’ve offered ten scholarships to that group and seven of those are homegrown players who have come through the academy system and the other three came in at under-15s or under-16s, so I think there’s massive credit for the academy programme in the foundation and development phase that we’re seeing so many retained and getting offered opportunities.

"We’re aware that at other clubs not as many homegrown players are offered so it’s a real strength that we’re able to offer so many. Credit to Gerry McGinty in the under-16s and that programme. There’s a really good link between the youth development phase and professional development phase, it’s not separated, there’s a lot of cohesion.

"Those ten have been offered and will be announced shortly. It’s also unfortunate that we’ve had to not offer some scholarships, and the process is ongoing with helping them with their exit routes. We wish them all the best. It’s never really a nice time of year but the world of football is very ruthless but hopefully we’re supporting the players enough with that transition away from the club."


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