Academy Manager Aaron Nicholson gives an insight in to of some of the fantastic work the club is doing with the Youth teams and in the community.
National Cup Semi-finalists
This weekend, Saturday the 19th of June, we host two semi-finals at Winklebury Football Complex. Our U12’s and U15’s are in National Cup action and as a club we cannot wait. Last weekend our U16’s lost to North Oxfordshire RTC, meaning we missed out on having a total of three teams in the national cup semi-final, but it was a fantastic cup run for them regardless
The cup is part of the JPL National League and seeding and rounds were therefore determined via league position before lockdown.
Our sides have both faced different journeys to get this far:
Our U12’s may have had the easiest cup run known to man in fact, the cup has not yet begun for the young side. The U12’s side lead by Tom Simms have received a bye in each round prior to this due to teams being unable to field a side. Although we would rather have had fixtures, our boys will be doing all they can to get into the final. Standing in their way is National League side Yeovil Town. Kick off At Winklebury Football Complex is at 1.30pm tomorrow.
Our U15’s path has been a lot more difficult. First up was BRS Youth from Bournemouth, where we hosted them at home. Next we faced an away trip to Oxfordshire SA (Abingdon United) where the boys came away 3-1 winners. We then hosted a local derby vs Procision Reading where Kelvin’s side ran out 3-2 winners in a fantastic game. This was then followed by a long away trip last weekend to Taunton Town, where once again the boys put in a superb performance and came away 3-2 winners. This weekend in the semi-final, they face Cre8tive Academy from Middlesex who are notorious for developing and pushing on talent into professional academies. It is going to be a cracker. The winner will face the winner of Burscough vs St Neots in the final. Kick off At Winklebury Football Complex is at 3.15pm tomorrow.
We have everything crossed for positive performance for the talented sides and hope they can do one better than our 2018/2019 U15’s which contained a playing side of current first team players Lloyd Snell & Kial Mumford, alongside myself and first team striker Mikey Davis, who made it to the National Cup final, losing 3-2 to Peterborough.
Regardless of the results this weekend, how good does it sound to say over the past 3 years we have had 3 teams in National Cup Semi-finals…. The future is bright.
Since leaving the Camrose, we have faced numerous difficulties across the youth section that we have had to overcome. The loss of training facilities and increased expenditure has been well documented. Our biggest struggle of all though has been creating new academy sides, due to a lack of training venues and the associated budget to do so. However, thanks to the hard work of everyone involved at the club, we now once again have are able to progress with establishing new teams, and we are not waiting around.
Over the summer I, alongside Sean Lewis and Thomas Simms, have created 3 new Basingstoke Town teams at age groups we were previously missing, to ensure the future of our youth set up. As of the 2021/22 season we will have new U9’S, U10’S and U11’s sides and the talent is frightening.
This means for the 2021/22 season we will have the following teams at the club:
U19’s 1st Team
U19’s 2nd Team
U19’s 3rd Team
That is a grand total of 14 teams and over 200 children, which I am sure you will agree is amazing!
Holiday Camp Success
I am sure you will have seen on social media, but over the previous school holidays we restarted our Holiday Camps for the local community after a year hiatus. Hosted at Winklebury Football Complex, we set ourselves a target of 20 children a day for the 3 day camp. Working in partnership with Young Ballerz academy, a local company set up by ex-Basingstoke Town players, Ben Wright and Tom Bird, we set out to create a new and exciting holiday camp set in one of the best facilities in Hampshire for youth football. I am happy to announce it was a huge success and over the 3 days we had over 150 children attend. The feedback and thank you messages we received was unbelievable. The plan is to continue with another 3 holiday camps during the 6 weeks holidays and to increase numbers even further. Contact Aaron.Nicholson@btfc.c.uk if you’re interested or for more information.
Hopefully after reading just a small snippet of the work that we are undertaking currently within the youth, academy and community department you can go away feeling enthused for the future ahead; I know I am.
Whether that be in anticipation of the semi-finals, the prospect of our new teams or the increased interaction within the local community, it is fair to say we are on the up. I know Dan and I are delighted with the young players and coaches at the club and hope one day to see them representing Basingstoke in the first team and beyond to continue the fantastic pathway we have here at Basingstoke Town.
Stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you back to fixture very soon.
Academy Manager & Assistant Manager