“a real prospect of more Clitheroe players representing their town team”
During last season, Steve Entwistle and Dave Mason took the opportunity to send some of their stronger players from Clitheroe Wolves’ u18s to train with Simon Haworth and Clitheroe FC’s first team.
This prompted Steve and Dave to suggest that Clitheroe FC might consider introducing a Development Squad of u21s. Plans are currently underway to consider whether this might provide a progression route for Clitheroe Wolves’s young talent into Clitheroe FC.
Clitheroe FC chair, Anne Barker said "Closer working between the two organisations can only benefit young players. Many players drop out of the game after u18s but this would give them the opportunity for them to continue to receive a good standard of coaching
with the added possibility of representing the town."
Steve Entwistle said: "Having managed teams at the older end of the grassroots football pyramid for a number of years, it became clear to me that we were losing talented players to other areas by not having a clear pathway to representative adult football. The town is very fortunate to have a fantastic grassroots football organisation in Clitheroe Wolves and a semi professional club in Clitheroe FC. However, I could not see a coherent strategy, which recognised talented players early and joined the two organisations together for the benefit of the player and clubs alike. It was for that reason that I approached both clubs and hoped to encourage them to form a clear route for players to follow and for both organisations to play their part in developing our local talent before they are recognised and encouraged elsewhere.
New Clitheroe FC first team manager Stuart Mellish said "Complementing the best talent I can find with the cream of local players is something I fully support. It reinforces the link between the club and the town, and provides both a real prospect of more Clitheroe players representing their town team and a key way to generate more interest and support for the club in the local community. I look forward to seeing how proposals develop."
The plans will hopefully compliment the relationship the Blues already have with Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, where young players are supported through their academic and football education.
Updated 09:15 - 21 May 2018 by Michael Barker