Non-league football side Wimborne Town plays a monumental role in paving a way for their youth in their footballing careers through their Development Centre and youth teams.
The Magpies are a stand-out in the Southern League South; not many clubs at the level being played have a Development Centre and an academy.
The club takes its role as a Community Club very seriously.
Matty Holmes, Community Director of Football, and head of the academy, said that: “The Development Centre is still very young, so it’s something that our department needs to improve a little bit. At the end of the day it’s a non-league football club.”
Despite the short-lived nature of the centre, the work with the youth teams has been an extremely successful part of the club’s philosophy, to be inclusive and respectful, and to enjoy and develop.
As a scout and coach, Holmes talked about the responsibility he feels in paving the way for youth careers. “I feel it’s our job to see the spark in a particular player, and bring the best out of them in order to set them on their path and reach their potential.”
Louis Kellaway, for example, came through all Wimborne’s youth teams, and became one of the key players to contribute towards their 2017/18 promotion season.
To not only maintain but to also make their success flourish at the club, Holmes said that: “We want to build a good reputation.”
Players have many options at their disposal.
Gemma Young, the Youth Secretary at the club, mentioned that there is a “BTEC course opportunity that WTFC offers from 16+ as a different path to college also.”
Fans of the club expect to see players that are local and from the youth teams week in week out.
Graham Dunn, loyal Magpies fan and journalist for the club, said that: “To see young players coming through is always really exciting. A lot of our supporters come to see their sons play.”
In addition to the excitement of these youth players, Dunn also remarked that: “There’s got to be a balance on the financial side. Youth players cost the club a lot less.”