Former fans’ favourite Jay Lovett is working wonders at the Eastbourne Borough Academy and he says he is loving life in his new role.
The academy, which was set up at the beginning of this season, is thriving under his leadership and is already starting to bear fruit in it’s infancy.
The aim was always to supply a steady stream of young, local talent for the first team, something two players have already achieved.
Richie Welch, 17, started at right-back against Shoreham in the Sussex Senior Cup, while Max Taylor came off the bench to score on his debut in the same game.
Ryan Warrell, Toby Clifford, Dan Hutchins and Tom Underwood have all been on the bench for the first team as well.
Lovett thinks that a good working relationship between himself and first team manager Tommy Widdrington has helped bleed some youngsters in to the side.
“That’s the most pleasing thing,” he said.
“The players are getting a chance in the first team and Tommy’s been great to give them a chance.
“They wouldn’t often get a chance elsewhere.”
Lovett’s side are currently third in the Conference Youth Alliance league and he admitted that he was pleasantly surprised by the progress.
“It really is going well,” he added.
“It’s progressed far quicker than I thought it would at the beginning of the season.
“For a team of first years to be competing against teams of second and third years is really great.”
And the academy’s plans for the future are to grow even further.
With Crawley Town’s academy folding recently and Brighton moving up a level in youth football they have far more talent available to them.
Now the second largest academy in Sussex, they are looking to recruit 24 more players for next year, which will add to the 18 they already have.
The academy are looking for a main kit sponsor to help with the cost and anyone interested can contact the club on 01323 766265.