Youth in focus as Shoreham set up football academy

Shoreham under-18s enjoyed a successful campaign in the Bostik League Youth East Division last season
Shoreham under-18s enjoyed a successful campaign in the Bostik League Youth East Division last season

Shoreham Football Club have launched an academy offering youngsters a pathway in to the senior game.

The Shoreham Football Academy (SFA) is a coaching division of the club, providing a safe and friendly environment where children from five through to 16 can learn and develop.

Former Arsenal, Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace and Charlton Athletic coach Ian Gilmour has been named head of academy.

As well as offering players from across the county and further afield the opportunity of making it in the non-league game and higher, Gilmour’s impressive coaching track record at a range of professional clubs makes it an attractive proposition for youngsters.

Head of academy Gilmour has coached at the top level, helping more than 40 players in being accepted at professional teams.

Shoreham joint-chairman Stuart Slaney is excited by the new project.

He said: “We will help to install the discipline which has seen Ian (Gilmour’s) past teams win the league and cup over consecutive seasons.

“We will encourage the winning mentality that has also seen Ian’s teams win over 50 tournaments.

“We feel that there are parents who are keen for their children to progress as players, yet aren’t necessarily getting the chance to improve.

“We intend to look at all aspects of the player’s game and report back on the areas that we feel need to be improved. We also believe there is a wealth of talent throughout the ages of players in our area.

“Sometimes the players haven’t had the opportunity to play with the best boys or learn new training ideas, yet given the opportunity they will play to their full potential.”

Slaney feels the new academy will offer something unique to players from all over Sussex.

“The goal is to introduce children as young as five to football and all the positives it brings.

“We want to provide a pathway to a final destination of playing adult football at the highest non-league level and beyond.

“You can start at five and potentially progress through our footballing programme, to playing for our senior side.”

Trials for all age groups will be taking place next month at Middle Road.

Players who qualify for under-14 and under-16 teams next season can attend on Saturday, June 16 (10am-1pm).

Trials for under-five, six, seven and eight age groups are to be held on Saturday, June 23 (10am-midday).

All other age group trials, under-nine, ten, 11, 12 and 13, will be held later the same day (1pm-4pm).

Arsenal under-23s star Charlie Gilmour has agreed to help with all trials.

To book a place for any trial go to www.sfacademy.co.uk, complete the online form on the homepage and additional information will be sent.

n Dan Kuxhaus has been named Shoreham under-18s manager. Kuxhaus joins with a wealth of experience coaching in youth football. Shoreham's under-18 missed out on the Bostik League Youth East Division title by just a point last term.