Sheffield United are opening the doors of the Redtooth Academy as part of a pioneering initiative designed to establish relationships with local junior coaches, schools and clubs, writes James Shield.
Staff charged with overseeing United’s youth programme, which was recently commended by the Premier League for its ability to nurture home grown talent, will next month begin hosting a series of presentations and workshops aimed at building sporting networks between teams in the region.
Speaking ahead of the first session, which is scheduled to take place on March 6, United’s academy manager Nick Cox said: “There are a lot of misconceptions associated with academies and people are sometimes suspicious of the work they do.
“We are keen to try and create an open and honest relationship with local coaches to give them an insight in to the programme we deliver and share ideas on player development.
“We are aware of the excellent work done by coaches in the area from which we benefit.
“Often the relationship between grassroots football and academies can be one way so this is our commitment to give something back to grassroots football.”
To book a place at next month’s event, which will see Cox present an overview of United’s work with young players before taking questions from the audience, email Joanne.Gambles@sufc.co.uk using ‘Friends of the Academy’ as the subject heading. Places, which are limited to 50, will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Meanwhile, United are inviting youngsters competing at under-7 and under-8 levels to attend open training sessions at the academy later on February 25 and 26 respectively. Parent or guardians of boys interested in attending should email Anthony.Tunstall@sufc.co.uk stating their name, date of birth and a brief outline of their playing history.