ATFC U19 Development Squad
ATFC U19 Development Squad
The aim of the ATFC U19 Development Squad is to support ATFC in its mission to produce more locally-based players capable of representing the 1st XI. In practice, this entails developing those youth players identified as showing the potential to play senior football at Welsh Premier League level or higher.
How will this be achieved?
Following lengthy discussions with the new and existing management team, several bold and exciting changes have been introduced which will help to achieve the Club’s ambition.
- The U19s will be provided with opportunities to train with the 1st XI squad every week based on a rotational basis.
- U19 players demonstrating sufficient ability/potential will be involved with the 1st XI.
- The U19s will be involved in 1st XI match day squads – with the Manager aiming to have 7 players on the bench (many of whom will be U19s) – with possible game time for some.
- 1st XI Manager has a wealth of personal experience in nurturing players from youth to senior level and are keen to support the Club in its aims.
- The Club has appointed Bari Morgan (former Swansea City Professional, Wales Semi-pro International, ATFC 1st XI player and B Licence Coach) to take charge of the U19s for the 2017-18 season alongside Iwan Roberts (former Penrhyncoch 1st X1, Aberystwyth Res player and C licence Coach)
- The Club has appointed Frank Rowe as ‘U19s Director of Player Development’ to assist the Management Team in achieving this enhanced offer to all selected players.
- Players will be given the opportunity to represent the Welsh Academy side if selected and pro-club scouts are often in attendance at this level of football.
- The U19s will train as a squad every Wednesday and as above, will train with the First XI on Tuesdays too. Games usually take place on a Sunday afternoon, however an attempt will be made to change some to a Saturday or even Midweek. It is expected that including pre-season and cup games, the U19s will have a comprehensive fixture list with over 30 games in the season – including FAW Welsh Youth Cup, Central Wales Cup, U19 League Cup and friendlies against pro-clubs etc.
- The U19 Squad will start its pre-season alongside the 1st XI in July – allowing plenty of time for the team to hit the ground running when the season commences.
- The U19s will train and play on the UEFA-standard 3G pitch and similar venues across Wales – further helping to promote player development.
- There will be a much-improved dedicated web page for the U19s, with player profiles and pictures and regular match reports throughout the season.
- The U19s will play, train and turn-up in the same kit as the 1st XI.
- The U19s team formation and style will mirror that of the 1st XI to aid transition between the teams.
- The U19 Squad will be selected on the basis of recruiting players that demonstrate the potential to play at 1st XI standard. An important component of this, will be the willingness of players to listen and then implement what the coaches are asking of them.
- Players will be provided with reports on their progress based on the 4 cornerstones of development - technical, tactical, physical and psychological at least 2 times per season.
In return for the above provision, the most important component is that once players have been selected for the U19 Squad they:
1. Are totally committed to playing for ATFC. That means that unless ATFC agrees to e.g. loan a player out to promote development or get more game time – players should not play for other clubs (especially on Saturdays before an U19 game).
2. Players are expected to attend all training sessions and matches (as selected) without good reason e.g. injury, illness, absence etc.. as agreed with the Coach.
3. Players are expected to prepare and recover for/from training sessions and matches as directed by the Coach.
4. Players will be expected to be flexible in the positions and roles they are asked to play as part of their overall development – with the Coach providing a rationale for these as appropriate.