This coming season Eastbourne Borough Football Club will be joining forces with Pro-Direct Soccer Academy to significantly enhance football opportunities for youngsters throughout East Sussex.
Pro-Direct have an excellent reputation in West Sussex where they have linked up with youth outfit ASC Strikers and already operate some youth development centres in the east of the county.
Pro-Direct will be supporting Eastbourne Borough in the delivery of its successful Development Centre which will expanded and rebranded into the Eastbourne Borough Foundation (9s to 12s) and Youth (13s to 16s) Academies.
The plan is to create a seamless pathway from the Foundation Academy into Borough’s main academy when the players reach 16.
The Borough Academy management team of Shaun North and Chris Agutter are already working closely with Pro-Direct’s Del Tobias to identify potential academy recruits for next season.
But Borough’s plans are not just about elite football. The football for all philosophy that underpins Eastbourne Borough Youth will be maintained and enhanced with the creation of two new Borough Development Centres one for boys and one for girls of all ages, regardless of ability and the club they play for.
Pro-Direct will administer the boys centre and well known girls coach Bill Simons will look after the girls centre.
Additionally, Eastbourne Borough will be re-invigorating its Saturday morning soccer school for 4 to 7 year olds and will be organising holiday soccer schools at Priory Lane for all school holidays apart from Christmas.
The club will also look to increase the sports coaching it can offer to schools in the area, either during the school day or through the provision of after school clubs.
Eastbourne Borough’s Board Chairman Paul Maynard, who has been working on this joint venture for some months now, explained, “it has long been our intention to bring youth football under the umbrella of the main club.
Whilst the volunteer based youth coaching model has been very successful for the best part of two decades now there is a clear demand for highly qualified paid coaches to deliver youth coaching programmes these days –either instead of or alongside volunteers.
This will not happen overnight but within a decade all of our youth sides playing in the Sunday leagues will be under the control of the main club and coached by professional coaches – hopefully many coaches will be from the ranks of our first team or our academy.
This is all part of the steady drive towards making the club a more professional and coherent outfit and our Borough in the Community programme dominating youth football provision in East Sussex”