The Pilgrims have secured an exciting partnership with the Independent Football Academy (IFA), providing talented local footballers a clear pathway into Argyle’s Academy set-up.
The IFA will work closely with Academy staff to improve the quality and standard of additional coaching provided to local players within Plymouth. In return, IFA players will be monitored by the Pilgrims’ Academy recruitment team.
The IFA runs training sessions twice a week in Saltash, on the Saltmill Park 3G pitch, and provide their players with opportunities to play against various professional clubs and tournaments in the holiday periods.
Phil Stokes, Argyle’s Academy Manager, said: “We are delighted to be working closely with the IFA moving forward.
“This partnership provides opportunities for players to progress into our Academy, which is a crucial development in our long-term strategy. The IFA have an excellent coaching programme which provides players with additional technical development to improve their game, and we are pleased to have them on board.”
Stuart Henderson, of the IFA, commented: “I am excited that this official partnership will give young players opportunities to progress into the Argyle Academy.
“Previously, the IFA has had relationships with professional clubs from outside the area, however this partnership will see Argyle and the IFA share resources, and ultimately ensure that the players all fall under one umbrella - which is to the benefit of Plymouth Argyle Football Club and the aspiring young footballers in the area.”
“My passion has always been to give young talented players genuine opportunities, and I have been very impressed with the ideas that have been implemented within the Argyle Academy over the last couple of years, and all the staff we have dealt with have been first class.”
The IFA has a reputation for developing excellent young players, but, in recent times, many of these have gone on to sign for professional football clubs outside of Devon and Cornwall. In agreeing this partnership, the Pilgrims ensure that they get the opportunity to sign these talented youngsters first.
As a part of the agreement, IFA teams will get the opportunity to play against Argyle Academy sides, throughout the age groups, once a month, and club staff will provide continuous professional development opportunities for IFA coaching staff.