Backroom chief from Hillsborough helps Steels

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Sheffield Wednesday academy coach John Williams is leading a mentoring programme at nearby Stocksbridge Park Steels.

Steels have more than 300 players training with them, ranging from its thriving junior section up to the semi-professional first team in the Evo-Stik Division One South.

Recently the club unveiled newly redeveloped pitches opposite the main stadium at a cost of £350,000, and sees the mentor programme as a way of improving and gaining added knowledge for their level 1 and 2 qualified coaches.

Williams, who is an FA Tutor, will be on-hand to provide Steels coaches quality support that “challenges and enhances coaching standards” at the grassroots club.

Junior coaches turned up in their numbers on a cold, wet and windy October night to take part in their first practical session of the programme.

Ian Cavanagh, Junior Chair of Park Steels, welcomed the programme saying; “This is a great initiative by the FA and the club to help improve the quality of coaching at grassroots level.

“From our perspective the aim ultimately is to improve the experience and development of young players at Stocksbridge.”

Stocksbridge junior players have an aspirational role model in former junior player, Jamie Vardy.

Vardy now plays for Leicester Cityin the Premier League, but still finds time to occasionally pop back to Bracken Moor to watch the first team.

Meanwhile, Stocksbridge U18s reached their third round of the FA Youth Cup after coming from behind to win 2-1 at Halifax Town.

Simon Dickinson equaliser on the half hour mark cancelling out the host’s opener inside the first minutes with Brodie Litchfield nodding in the winner midway through the second half.

The result earned Stocksbridge a home tie against Skelmersdale United tomorrow (7.45).

The first team, who are currently lying 17th in the 22-team league, play at Sutton Coldfield on Saturday, their next home game is against Leek Town on Tuesday.