Friday 06th May 2005

Please credit article to Stephen McCartney - www.kentishfootball.co.uk

Ashford have faith in youth

ASHFORD TOWN are looking forward and not back insists one of their youth team coaches Vince Shell, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Homelands club haven't had their best seasons and escaped relegation from the Ryman League Division One by only one point but it's not just at first team level the club has struggled - but Shell can see a brighter future at all levels of the club.

"We are looking at how we can go forward next season with our youth teams," he told the club's website.

"We have suffered throughout the club this season with youth teams forfeiting games and taking some batterings.

"What we need to do it have competitive teams and not just teams for the sake of it.

"Sadly we are competing against other teams in Ashford, whereas other towns have only one team.

"What we will do though is try to get it right.  At youth level we want teams of players who are committed to Ashford Town Football Club, who are prepared to train two or three times a week.

"In return we'll provide qualified coaches to run the teams and we will run these in a professional manner.

"Ok as mentioned previously the under 14's may finish below Kennington but we have progressed and we now have players, who if they keep progressing in this manner, will grace the first team in years to come.

"I have three boys in particular who in two years time will be capable of gracing if not the first team but the reserves.  That's a measure of success.

"Tim (Thorogood) the club's chairman and first team manager is fully behind what we do, as is everyone at the club, and is just as keen as me to see these boys progress to first team level.

"We will get in right because we have the experience to do it.  However, Rome wasn't built in a day and we have to be patient."

Meanwhile, Ashford Town are playing a William Harvey Harriers team in aid of the Pilgrims Hospice, based in the town, next Wednesday 11th May (7:45pm).

Neil Ruddock and former Dover Athletic goalkeeper Paul Hyde are expected to turn out for the William Harvey Harriers and all support and donations will be gratefully accepted.