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Malvern Town News

Focus On Youth - 22 May

The addition of an extra team at under-18 level and a Development Squad for the campaign ahead will further strengthen the pathway that exists here at Malvern Town.

Player development and progression is at the heart of everything we do and this is reflected in the structure that we will have in place ready for when it’s safe for football to make a welcome return. Joining the youth set-up recently is well-respected UEFA B coach, Matt Day, who will work alongside Steve Dallow to ensure that we have talented local youngsters who are ready and able to step up and continue the production line.

“I think my passion for player development is the biggest asset that I bring to the club,” said Matt Day upon his appointment. “My commitment and drive to developing young players is what I feel makes me well suited for this role. Despite having a relatively short coaching history, I have managed to gain a wealth of experience in developing young players to play at higher levels. I feel my ability to develop relationships with players allows me to get the best out of them.”

One player who has emerged from the youth team to establish himself as a key figure in the first-team is Curtis Smith. The talented and determined full-back has benefitted greatly from the pathway that exists here. “The club has looked after Curtis extremely well over the past few years,” said dad, Lee, without hesitation. “He has benefitted from great advice and training methods which have helped to curb his short fuse and given him a maturity that he is now showing in his performances for the first-team. It has been pleasing to see this progress and as a parent I am so proud to see him playing consistently well on the first-team stage and gaining in experience and know-how all of the time."

“He is also coping very well with the physical side of the game and gaining in strength, size and speed, something which the club has played an influential role in.Curt set himself a goal of getting into the first-team at the age of 16 and it is something that he achieved through his performances for the under-18 team. There is a clear pathway here and it’s so important to see the managers of the youth team, reserves and first-team meet up regularly to discuss each players’ individual progression."

“At this club, if you work hard and show the right attitude, you will be on their radar and that is a big thing for any aspiring youngster. As a family we love our Saturdays watching the team play; the new facilities are top-notch and we know that from the moment we arrive, we are amongst friends. This is such a welcoming and inclusive club, but special mention to Ann [Clack] who always greets us so warmly and makes a mean cake!”

Another shining light is Morgan Skidmore whose assured youth team displays and application in training has seen him have his appetite whetted with a handful of first-team outings last term.

“We are really pleased with Morgan’s progression in such a short space of time here,” said the young midfielders’ parents Chris and Nicky. “It’s been amazing to watch and we are extremely proud. The decision to come here was Morgan’s; he wanted to join a local club with a reputation for doing things the right way both on and off-the-pitch and with a clear route for progression. As a family we all agree that it was a great decision. Morgan has been so well looked after all the way through the club, playing for the youth team, reserves and first-team. Each of the coaches that he has worked with have been fantastic and all contributed something to his development both as a player and as a person. We can’t praise them highly enough; they all share the same passion for their team and the club as a whole and this transfers to the players that come under their wing."

“An important thing that we have noticed as parents is that each players’ individuality matters and that is something quite special. It is also important that there is a pathway for them to follow and drive them on. It gives them an aim and a focus and for Morgan to get a taste of playing in front of 250 people shows what can be achieved here. There is so much positivity around this football club and it’s brilliant. This is our first year of being involved and the first thing we noticed was how welcoming everyone is, not just towards Morgan but also to us as parents. It is one big family and it’s great to feel part of that. We’ve been missing everyone so much during lockdown and that shows the bond that we have built up."

“We can’t wait to be back here and part of it all again with some good people and a cracking cup of coffee!”

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