Stonehouse Town will be running an U18s side for the 2020/21 season, the club has confirmed.
The club confirmed on social media on Tuesday afternoon that U18s football will be returning to Oldends Lane in order to help the next generation of talent progress within the local game.
“This has been in the pipeline since the beginning of last season,” said First Team Assistant Manager Ian Logan-Giles.
“We have always seen Stonehouse as a project that will run over many seasons and the back ground planning for U18s started before Christmas last year.
It was key that our floodlights were up and working, which they now are, so we could enter the Cheltenham Youth Floodlit League, as that’s where you really want your u18 team to be playing,” Logan-Giles added.
As Logan-Giles mentioned above, Stonehouse have began to expand both on and off the field within the last 12-18 months, with the main addition being the floodlights to their ground in order to progress from the County League.
Then, ahead of the now expunged 2019/20 season, Stonehouse were moved into the Hellenic League where they joined the likes of Shortwood United, Cheltenham Saracens and Newent Town in the Division One West.
Now with the latest chapter in the Stonehouse Town story to be written, Logan-Giles believes that the news will not only benefit the club but the players themselves.
“It [adding an U18s side] is absolutely vital and was the clear next step for Stonehouse. We currently have four teams in various leagues but no u18s team.
The club is keen to start introducing younger players to all of our teams but this is especially important for the First Team in the Hellenic League and the Reserves in the GNSL league.
By having several teams at different levels, we can offer both u18s football and the introduction of senior football as well – which is important for the player development.”
Stonehouse join the Cheltenham Youth Floodlit League next season, meaning their U18s side will go up against local outfits from Tuffley Rovers, Longlevens, Bishops Cleeve, Cinderford Town, Lydney Town, Evesham United, and Slimbridge.
So what can any prospective players expect by joining Stonehouse Town? Logan-Giles talked us through the key information you need to know.
“The reason we started planning for the U18s early was so that we can be fully prepared to offer the best experience for young players. Over the last couple of weeks we have put in orders for technology to video all our u18 games and training sessions for analysis. We also have GPS Tracking vests on the way. This means we can offer the players a full picture on how they can improve.
We have a clear pathway into Senior Football and we hope over the course of the season you will see u18s players featuring in 1st and 2nd teams, in particular.
We are not going down the route of having a ‘manager’ or an ‘assistant’ manager for the u18s, we have built a coaching team that also includes 1st team players to lead the team and this can only benefit player development,” Logan-Giles said.
Any players interested in joining Stonehouse Town or even any current u16s players whose teams no progression into u18s football, please send an email to email@example.com with your details