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New under 18s coach on the opportunities with the structure

23 May 2021

Shane Goddard, the newly confirmed under 18s coach, has been speaking about the coaching pathway that is open at the club.

Jon Brady, Marc Richards, Ashlee Adebayo and Michael Bolger have recently moved up from the academy to the first team, while Goddard himself was previously a coach in the club's Football & Education department and he says the coaching pathway is something the club should be very proud of.

"There is a real coaching pathway here and it is important we showcase that," he said.

"It is not just about bringing players through, it is about bringing coaches through and showing that if you get your qualifications and you work hard, there is a chance for you to progress. You have to be good at what you do but there is a pathway of progression for both players and coaches at this club.

"I started off as a part time academy coach, then went to the Football & Education programme and since then it has been a quick progression. I stepped across to the academy youth development phase and now I have got this opportunity and we should be proud of that pathway at this club."

Pre-season is around a month way, but planning for the new intake of scholars is already well under way, as Goddard explained.

"Next season's scholars will have an induction programme next week and we will explain what is expected of them.

"They will be given their individual fitness programmes to follow so they are in good shape and ready for the start of pre-season and in the under 18s, just like the first team, we want to be high energy, difficult to play against, on the front foot and aggressive with good quality.

"That work will start on day one, it won't be easy for the players but it is a journey we will go on to help prepare the boys for what we hope will be successful professional careers. The boys coming in need to look at the former academy players now in the first team squad to see how they can follow that path."

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