Cefn Druids have started to roll out their future plans for the club and its growing academy.
Cefn Druids have made it very clear that they want to follow the same model used by Crewe Alexandra, who use the U23’s to bolster their first team, and develop players in the same manner used by Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC.
With the barriers preventing young players getting the chance to play for the first team now removed, the club has now set about changing the culture and philosophy towards youth development. Almost immediately players such as U19 academy player Morgan Daykin made a start for the first team. Five players made over twelve senior appearances this season, something completely unheard of in recent times at The Ancients.
However, taking the Druids Academy to another level means heavy financial investment.
Alan Hansen’s famously stated that Sir Alex Ferguson had taken the wrong approach in putting his faith in youth. His quote ‘you don’t win anything with kids’ backfired on him with the class of ’92 and the Druids aim to emulate their success.
The Cefn Druids Academy currently operates to a Category Two level and only a small group of football academies in the UK are awarded with a Category One status, and not all of them are in the English Premier League. Category One status is extremely hard to reach and takes a great deal of commitment and financial investment from the club to improve the quality of the coaching, equipment, facilities and strategic development that you can expect to find at the highest levels of the game.
The new philosophy a culture change that’s based on playing football, concentrates on the technical side of the game and the development of young players. The first team will see an influx of academy players in year one and the formation of an U23’s side for season 2021/22.
There is a new BTEC & Blended Study Scholarship course available for the full time players in association with local colleges and an affiliate system that will see players needing playing time being loaned to local clubs. There is also a Girls/Women’s team in the pipeline for 2020/21.
For the 2020/21 season, the Pre-Academy age group players will have two training sessions per week, the 12-16 year old academy players will train three times a week and the 16-19 scholars four days a week. Druids now have a full time Head of Performance and a full team of analysts to help both the academy and first team.
There will be more news regarding the Druids over the coming weeks as they prepare for the coming season.