News from our partners: Shrewsbury Sports Village new home for Shrewsbury Town FC academy
News from our partners Shrewsbury Town FC
Shrewsbury Town is pleased to announce that the Shrewsbury Sports Village will become the new home of the club’s academy.
The U18s have played their home games at the Sports Village for the past couple of years but the facility will now become home.
The U18s will train at the Sports Village as well as use the facility for their gym work and analysis work. The Sports Village will also become the new base for the academy’s staff, with the offices relocating there.
Shrewsbury College’s London Road site has been home for several years now, and the U18s will continue to receive their education modules at London Road.
The move now sees the club’s academy base just a few minutes from the first team training ground at Sundorne Castle.
Shrewsbury Town’s Academy Manager David Longwell has been working hard to bring the move about in conjunction with Shropshire Community Leisure Trust, who operate the centre on behalf of Shropshire Council, and is now pleased to see it complete.
David Longwell said:-
“It’s something we’ve been working on for several months, but haven’t been able to announce anything until now.
“When I first came in I was looking at how we can take the standards that bit higher.
“The Sports Village has got a brand new 3G pitch, which has only just come into operation in the last week.
“We also felt as an office base we wanted to improve our environment and we’ve managed to make an agreement with the Sports Village to move here.
“Rhys Collins, the manager here, has been fantastic in building a package to bring us here.
“It’s taken a while but we’ve got a brand new office, which the coaches love.
“Shrewsbury College have been great for us, but we wanted to get the right football base and I think we have got that here.
“We are still going to be based at the college for the education for the boys, and training at night for the other age groups.
“All the staff at Shrewsbury College have been unbelievable and accommodating for us, but for us to push onto the next level we feel this is the right base for us.
“The U18s are now based at the Sports Village, they can do their gym programmes here, train here, the coaches office is here and I think it can help me to drive up the standards.”
Town’s U18 side have used the competition pitch at the Sports Village for home games, but they will now training during the week next to it on the new 3G pitch.
David Longwell added:-
“We’ve now got two pitches side by side now, we have the grass pitch we play games on a Saturday and the 3G pitch we will train on.
“Now we are based here it just makes sense, we will get our food here, do our meetings here and everything will be under the one roof for our U18s.
“For the academy, we will hopefully get more bookings here, but we are still going to be using other facilities because we have so many teams. It’s an exciting time for the academy and having a partnership with the Sports Village is moving the academy forward.
“As a working environment and as a place, we can make sure the boys are doing all the right things. This is great for us.”
Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture, leisure, communications and waste, is delighted that this partnership has developed. She said:
“It is exciting times for the Sports Village following the installation of a replacement 3G surface. The use of the facility by Shrewsbury Town FC academy endorses the quality of the installation, and I commend the staff at the Trust and the academy for bringing this about. As a Shrewsbury Town supporter I look forward to seeing the academy trainees progress their careers up the footballing ladder.”
Since joining Town at the start of the year David has spoken about his desire to increase the standards in the academy. It was in a great place when he took over but they continue to strive to improve every day.
“When I came in one of the first things I noticed with Sam Ricketts is that he is very high on doing the right things.
“I think little things become big things and if you look at the training ground they have worked really hard to upgrade it and put some money in to make sure they can give the players what they are looking for.
“What we want to do is mirror that down here to make sure we have a professional environment of excellence on a day to day basis.
“We want to keep driving the standards from all the staff, from coaches, the fitness coaches, to physios and right down to Mike our Logistics Manager.
“All these things have got to be right and we have to put ourselves at a level the kids can follow.”