Blue Anorak

Last modified on Monday, 23 April 2007 at 21:09:45

£250 000 for the youth team

The English Sports Council has made a grant of £276 000 to Southend United in order to restructure the youth programme and, hopefully, find the next Ryan Giggs or Michael Owen. Half of the money was donated by members of the Premier League, who see the need to invest in grassroots football.

Peter Trevivian, director of youth football at Southend, has welcomed this opportunity to help build the team for the future.

It's in the interest of all Premier League sides for smaller clubs to maintain a conveyor-belt of young players, which we hope can be produced to a standard good enough to play at the highest level.

Southend's centre of excellence will now be revamped, allowing the club to work with and coach the best youngsters in the area aged from nine to 16 years old.

Trevivian spoke of how the money would help improve the quality of coaching and scouting and allow the club to make the most of the vast amount of young talent we have in our catchment area to Southend United's advantage.

Even with the limited resources we are working with now, I would say we have four or five boys in our current youth team who have a good chance of going all the way in professional football.

Who knows what else we can achieve once we have given our whole youth programme a complete upgrade thanks to this grant?

Trevivian praised John Main as having been like a breath of fresh air around Roots Hall.

Despite all his financial problems off the field, John has always found the time to support our plans to restructure the youth policy at the club.

He helped us launch our bid for the English Sports Council funding and he is committed to seeing youngsters flourish at Roots Hall, which gives us a great chance of gaining success.

Steve Tilson has been made the director of the Centre of Excellence.

© Luke Bosman Monday, 23 April 2007 at 21:09:45

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