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Academy set foundations for future


Tuesday 08 May 2018
FGR Media


Scott Bartlett

Forest Green Rovers Academy manager Scott Bartlett believes they can be a surprise package next season following a busy first campaign in the Football League.

While the first team have been battling it out in League Two, Bartlett and his team have been adjusting to the step up as well.

While the Under 18 side have competed in the Youth Alliance League, some have stepped up to represent the development side in the Central League, a competition they finished strongly in.

Although it has been a full-on season both on and off the pitch for the Academy, Bartlett believes they have laid some strong foundations.

“The past eight months has been enjoyable despite the incredible amount of work and we think we have done really well in terms of the games programme, the education programme and the coaching programme,” he said.

“We’ve also had our recruitment for next season which we have had to cram into a short period of time to make sure we are ahead of the game in terms of signing the players we wanted to sign.

“We’re really proud of where we are and the direction we are now heading in.

“We’ve done brilliantly this season; because of the way the audit process goes, we’ve had to put a lot of structure in place and that will not only help us but other areas of the club going forward.”

When asked for a highlight for the season, Bartlett was in no doubt that seeing those who have come through the age groups and go onto flourish rank highly.

Jordan Stevens made an impact this season as he made his first-team debut as well as scoring the winner against Cheltenham Town in the Checkatrade Trophy before leaving for Championship side Leeds United in January for a six-figure fee, where he has been a success for their Under 23 team.

Bartlett said: “The obvious one would be Jordan Stevens moving to Leeds United but Aiden Baldwin has just got a new contract at Bristol City after we sold him a couple of years ago and he is captain of their Under 23s and has done really well.

“For us really the highlight of the season is the all-round package we offer as a club. We’ve had two players go into really secure employment with one becoming a trainee mortgage advisor while the other is an accountant which is fantastic for them.

“It just shows the other side of what we do and how important our education programme is.”

Attention now turns to next season and a busy summer in store with trials coming up for the U8's, 9's,10's,11's and 12's squads.

With the club hoping to go to Category Three status, Bartlett knows that it won’t be a time to relax but believes they will be in a very strong position come September.

“Going into next year we might be more of a surprise package but that will depend on how we pitch the games, what players we play in what games, if the second year scholars go out on loan or go into the Central League then of course we will have a team of first years again for the Youth Alliance League games,” he added.

“We’ll have to have discussions around that but we have got some good players in the building which is the main thing.

“It’s been well documented that we are trying to go for Category Three status and I think we’ll be the first club to go from Cat Four to Cat Three in one season.

“It’s a huge amount of work but will be massively beneficial and we couldn’t have done that without the chairman’s support and hopefully we’ll have a fully contracted youth system from under 9s up to under 18s going forward.”

There are a number of trial dates coming up that will take place from Sunday, May 13.

To apply, please download and complete an application form. All the information on where completed applications should be sent can be found on the form itself. The closing date for applications is Thursday, May 10. 

Further trial dates for next seasons U13s, 14s, 15s and 16s age groups will be announced in due course.

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League Table

There are no upcoming matches left in this season, but you can still see our previous results.

Results & Fixtures

v Grimsby (H)

Grimsby Town
Loss  
0
 - 
3

05/05/2018 3:00 pm

League Two

Match Report
Pos Club P GD PT
19 Yeovil 46 -16 48
20 Port Vale 46 -18 47
21 Forest Green 46 -23 47
22 Morecambe 46 -15 46
23 Barnet 46 -19 46
Last updated: Sat 05 May 2018 17:00 pm