Cefn Druids make significant changes in their academy system this summer.

The Directors of Cefn Druids FC have taken the closed season to make significant and changes that were needed throughout the club.

One of the most significant changes is within the academy system this summer, with two major coaching roles set to become available, and a more structured development plan put in place. The coaching changes in the youth system at the Druids Academy comes at a time when the club has started to use its academy players more in first team games and in time for the new FAW rule changes on homegrown players.

“The academy structure, laid out by the FAW, works and I was hoping that we could implement a structure to improve our performances at academy level and that’s not happened. We’ve not made the most of the lockdown nor reached the off-field targets I set last year, and so further changes are needed and have been made” said Druids Chairman Des Williams.

The Head of Coaching role has been expanded to not only fulfil the criteria of the FAW and UEFA, but also oversee the implementation of the new Development Pathway. Jayson Starkey has held the position of Head of Coaching for two seasons and his contract is due for renewal in the coming weeks and talks are underway. The Academy Manager role has been made a full-time and will be advertised in the coming weeks.

Jordan Hadaway takes the reins of the EDS and will be assisted by Levi Challoner who is also the club’s Head of Performance. Chris Allen takes over the U19’s and he’s assisted by Jordan Hadaway and Levi Challoner.

Jack Birch is the clubs Sports Scientist and works with Sports Chaplin Paul Day looking after the players mental health. Liam Jones is the club’s Video Analyst and also assists with some aspects of the EDS and academy teams. Since the changes have been made, the EDS have been in scintillating form and defied all expectations of those on the outside, and a few players performances have raised a few eyebrows internally.

The Development Phase (12-16) has also been revamped. An academy performance programme has been put in place and all coaches are now following the guidelines and the results are improving. We have gone to a one player one club policy for players 14 years old and upwards. Next season sees it becoming mandatory throughout football and so we’re ahead of the curve.

The Foundation Phase (8-11) becomes more about Fun Football with local games being an essential part of the development process. We’ve taken the structure out of the training sessions and made it more in line with FAW policy and not performance.

The pathway for the players to the first team is now very clear and the chances for them to make it have increased. Time for us to roll up our sleeves and get it done.