Saturday 02nd July 2005

Shell has high hopes for tournament



A youth team coach at Ashford Town is relishing the chance of managing his side against some of the best sides in the local area next month, writes Stephen McCartney.

On Sunday 7th August, the Homelands is staging a tournament for under fifteen's which will see the home club come across Millwall, Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon.

And coach Vince Shell is on the look out for sponsors to make the event a success.

Although details haven't been confirmed as yet, Shell admitted he is looking forward to the showpiece under fifteen tournament.

"We are looking to make it a special occassion and show local players the standards they must achieve if they want to play at a decent level," he said in an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk

The 42-year-old will be hoping his talented side will do well in front of their own crowd.

"We will be going all out to win but what is vital is that we give a good account of ourselves and show that we can compete with top quality sides," he said.

"I don't want to put any players on the spot but I expect one or two to rise to the occassion."

The Ryman League division one club are fielding three sides in the Kent Youth League this season - at under 18, 15 and 14 level.

"All three youth sides will be looking to give accounts this season," he said.

"The under 18's are a young side and the under 14's are a new team."

But Shell has high hopes for his team.

"I would expect us to finish in the top three," he predicted.  "What is important is that the structure is in place and we have experienced coaches working with each team."

And Shell is highly qualified to bring success to his team.

He is a full-time football coach with Ashford Borough Council, where he runs Brazilian Soccer Schools in the town.

As well as running the club's under 15's, he also coaches Club Brasillia's under ten's.

He played youth football with Dulwich Hamlet and South London Schools district team and senior football at Herne Bay and Whitstable Town.

Shell holds the UEFA B qualification and has also coached with Gillingham and Charlton Athletic.

So Ashford's young footballers have the right man at the helm.

"There is a long way to go and again I wouldn't want to put players on the spot," he said.

"I would expect to see two of my squad involved in the first team within the next two years.

"What I am certain of is, that at the rate they are developing the majority of the boys will play football at a decent level - hopefully with Ashford Town."

And Shell believes his squad are playing their football at the right club.

"The supporters of Ashford Town are excellent - they care about the club and are desperate to see the club succeed.

"How many youth teams can boast an attendance of over 150 for a midweek Kent Youth League under 14 game against Ramsgate last season?

"At the end of the day you don't want to see your team lose every week so you've got to produce the goods."

Shell admitted Ashford Town is the club for local youngsters to hone their skills and develop into the first team.

"The process must begin at youth level," he said.

"You've got to provide better than your opposition - better opportunities, better coaches, better facilities.

"If you can provide qualified coaches who introduce a professional approach then you will attract the better players.

"There are some excellent local players but are they willing to put in the effort and train two to three times a week?

"This is why we have started the process early.

"You've got to grow your own and then you will see success."

To assist Shell with sponsoring the event, please contact him on 07952 217 913.

Ashford Town coach Vince Shell has high hopes for the club's under fifteen squad this season.

Photograph: www.ashfordtownfc.co.uk