All the latest news from Manager, Tommy Parkinson
As ever, it has been a busy couple of weeks on and off the pitch at the Academy.
The Elite team bounced back from the disappointment of their FA Youth Cup exit at Aldershot where they performed admirably in defeat. Progress was made in the League Cup at the expense of Camberley Town; a disappointing league defeat against VCD was followed by wins against Ebbsfleet United and Charlton Athletic Trust by heavy scorelines. In these games, Ben Hermitage has hit a rich vein of form scoring five goals and adding five assists!
For those that haven’t attended a home game with the Elite squad, this season, we are playing our games at Larkfield and New Hythe Football Club. Whilst we enjoyed our time at Kings Hill, there is something to say about playing our games at a proper non-league stadium without a cage! The pitch is grass and really well maintained, and as an added bonus, the bar is open!
The Development teams have been short of games since the half-term break but both played fixtures this week, although both ended in defeat. Dom Welsh’s Development 1 team put in a solid performance against a strong Dover Athletic squad eventually going down by 3-1 with Isaac Barden scoring from the spot for the Angels. Joe Ford’s Development 2 team went down by 5-1. Joe had a depleted squad with which to work with call-ups from both teams above them. But his team put in a hard-working performance against PSA Academy who were able to field their strongest squad.
Joe Ford is a new name to the coaching staff at the Academy, joining the team during the summer break. Joe will introduce himself in the next Academy Update.
Steve McKimm continues to utilise the Academy during the first team training and most of the squad have had at least one session with the senior professionals. On the first team’s spare weekend when a friendly with Sittingbourne was arranged, Luca Woodhouse, Joe Tyrie and Finn Hartley all got 30 minutes playing time in the 3-0 win and none of them looked out of place.
Luca has subsequently gone out on loan to Whitstable Town to gain experience at senior level and has featured from the bench on each of their games since his arrival.
Off the field, recruitment for next year has begun with trials on Monday, 25th October for Year 11 and 12 students. We had a fantastic response with some very talented boys and girls trialling. A total of 15 places were offered, this is the highest number we have offered after the first trial. The next session will be held next month.
On Wednesday, 24th November there will be an open evening at Hugh Christie where prospective students will have the opportunity to meet the Academy staff alongside the A Level/BTEC staff who will answer all your questions.
You might have noticed that the Academy social media graphics have had a sharp upgrade, this is all due to the expertise of one of our Development players, a Belgian lad called Arne de Cauwer, who also proved more than useful on the pitch winning a man of the match award this week.