The chairman for Selby Town Football Club has said that the future of the recently formed under-9s team “is in safe hands”.
With the first-team season now underway, Selby Town’s under-9s have made fantastic progress in such a short time. Earlier this year coaches Glen Dennis and Tim Atherton approached the club with a desire to utilise their experience in youth football and help kickstart Selby Town FC’s own ambitions of creating a youth programme.
Chairperson David Haddock said: “The club has undergone a number of changes this year as we look to the future, and one area in particular that I wanted to focus on was in fulfilling our role of a community club and bringing in new youth teams to give opportunities to those in our local area. “We’re blessed in Selby to have many fantastic football clubs with youth teams in place, and yet it was something as a club we’d never really embraced in the past.
He added: “Having met Glen and Tim - our now under-9s coaches - it was clear they had a vision for the team, and with their experience working within youth football they were a perfect fit for what we were looking for. “It has only been a few months but they’ve already built up a wonderful group of players who go from strength to strength with the support of their coaches. Nothing pleases me more as chairperson of Selby Town FC than to see the faces of our Little Robins as they celebrate playing football together. This, to me, is what football is all about. “After all, it’s our youth that will one day be the players and management teams of the future and watching the under-9s play and work together - I’m happy to say the future is in safe hands.”
As part of the team, the youngsters will have the opportunity to play academy level teams to gain confidence and experience, later having the opportunity to join the Junior Premier League. Under-9s coach, Glen, said: “Our goal at Selby Town is to develop local talent by giving our players the freedom to express their individual skills and creativity. “Our training sessions consist of hard work and lots of fun, helping to improve our players technical and tactical ability. We expect players to be dedicated, hard-working and show respect and professionalism to teammates and coaches at both training and on match days. We want to help build a professional attitude whilst ensuring fun remains at the forefront of all we do. “Over the coming years, we aim to create not only good footballers but good people too who will be proud to say they play at Selby Town.”
After only a short time at the club, the team has taken part in The Keepmoat Cup Tournament (Doncaster Rovers) during which they played against academy teams from Sheffield Wednesday and Wolverhampton Wanderers. They have also played several friendlies including matches against York City, Harrogate Town, Bradford City and Scarborough. Tim, Selby Town’s under-9s coach, said: “Selby Town offers the opportunity for players in the local area to maximise their potential as young footballers, by not only training with players of high ability but also by playing against some of the best players in the country. “While the standard is high we try and maintain our sense of community and almost family-feel to the team as unlike some of the ruthless ‘pick and choose them’ attitude of the top academies. We will endeavour to help any child improve and hopefully and maybe most importantly make friends for life in a competitive team environment. He added: “I’m proud of what the current crop of young Robins are achieving as a unit and long may that continue.”
A parent of one of the Little Robins players said: “To see your child progress and develop in a game they love is just amazing. “Their confidence grows match after match and having the opportunity and experience to play against these teams has given them the drive and determination to be the best they can be. They are a real team who encourage and support each other and I couldn‘t be prouder of them all and what they have achieved so far.”
The Little Robins - Selby Town FC’s first under-9s team. (12-08-52 SU)