On The Pathway

PLYMOUTH Argyle and Cornwall Football Association are pleased to announce the launch of a comprehensive Player Pathway programme which incorporates all affiliated football in the Duchy.

This unique partnership includes clubs, leagues, schools, facility-providers and support from Argyle and will provide a clear, progressive development route for all young players in Cornwall.

Clubs will benefit from in-service support from FA, Cornwall FA and Argyle’s coaches which will support the long-term player development approach.

Club coaches will be supported with advice and information on the planning and delivery of appropriate practice with specific age groups. Both Charter Standard Youth Leagues in Cornwall – the Kernow Youth League and East Cornwall Youth League are supporting the initiative through their league development plans having, this season, endorsed the FA Youth review proposals.

Players who excel at their local club or school will be invited into one of a network of local long-term player development centres which will augment the coaching they receive in their club.

Existing centres at Mounts Bay School, Penryn College, Cornwall College (Camborne), Callington College will work in partnership with the centres established by Argyle Football in the Community Trust at Liskeard, Bodmin and Truro, and with planned centres at Brannel School and Camelford. The local centres will integrate with the Cornwall Schools FA representative squads and coaches.

This integrated programme will culminate at the Cornwall FA Boys Development Centre, where players who show the greatest potential will be invited. The centre will be based at Brannel School, which also hosts the girls’ player development centre. The Brannel centre will be supported by Argyle academy coaches and provide the pinnacle of the player pathway in Cornwall.

This integrated programme has had funding from the Football Association and received a significant grant from Plymouth Argyle Supporters Training and Development Trust. The support of PAST&DT has allowed the programme to be one of the most integrated in the country and should enable standards at all levels to improve.

Andy Mitchell, Cornwall FA Development Manager said: ‘‘We have been working to create a player pathway for some years and had some of the blocks in place with the good work that coaches such as Jake Ash, Dan Inch, Kev Lawrence and Lee Beer have been delivering with their centres.

“The support of The FA and PAST&DT has provided us with a huge boost and will help us to achieve our aim of providing a clear pathway which players, parents, teachers and coaches can clearly understand and which, most importantly, provides the very highest standards.

“We have worked very closely with Plymouth Argyle staff who have all been very supportive in shaping the programme and who will continue to play a key role going forward. We have the best coaches in the best facilities in Cornwall, so we have a terrific opportunity to raise standards.’’

John Coker, one of the Trustees of PAST&DT, said: “PAST&DT was formed to assist in the provision of facilities for young persons in the south west and in particular to provide education and training in the skills of football.

“This programme clearly meets that objective and we are delighted to work with the Cornwall FA to improve opportunities for young footballers in Cornwall.”

Argyle Academy Manager Kevin Hodges said: “We are very pleased to be working in partnership with the Cornwall FA in developing this clear pathway within the county that will benefit all players.

“The club’s coaches will be delivering some of the training at the centres as well as sharing their knowledge with other coaches within the structure using the latest academy coaching syllabus created under the new elite player performance plan.

“There has been a great deal of thought and planning over the past six months to get to this stage and we are delighted that we as a club can assist the County FA in their vision to elevate the standard of football at all levels within their county.”