At Saturday's game we will turn the spotlight on our under 8s and under 9s to show just some of the fantastic work that goes on in the Northampton Town Pre-Academy.
Supporters will be aware of the terrific progress we have made within our Academy in recent years due to a lot of hard work and effort from the staff and we continue to be excited at the young prospects coming through the system.
However, identifying and coaching young players starts from an ever younger age, our Academy squads start from the age of 8 upwards and over the last few years we have been working hard to identify how we can improve our system.
Every parent and grandparent want their budding young stars to be given the best possible opportunity to play at the highest level, yet many are confused as to the various options open to them. Our Progressive Youth Development System (PYDS) allows the opportunity for a young player to progress from the junior leagues right the way through to a professional contract. It introduces our Skills Centre (under 6 to under 12s) and also how talented players can be invited to our Development Centres and Shadow Squad run by the club's Academy. Boys attending any of these three development centres can be recommended straight through to our Academy squads.
Many parents are attracted by offers from 'bigger' clubs to send their children to attend their academies and coaching schemes but experience tells us that too many young players can get lost in oversized squads and schemes which perhaps concentrate too much on quantity not quality. Our intention is to make sure that each young player is given the best possible chance of succeeding, and we can give youngsters the best possible chance of making it to the very top.
If you have a young potential superstar in the house or family and you want to make sure that they get the best possible coaching and advice to enable them to enjoy their football and develop their talents then for the first time we are able to offer a complete and structured programme for them to participate in.
You can read more details about the Pre-Academy and our player pathway in Saturday's programme.