Academy Manager Ross McNeilly gave us a brief summary of the academy’s progression from under-8s all the way to the under 23s since the start of the current season:
Pre-Academy: Under-8s to Under-16s
Under-8s to Under-12s
“The Under-8s to Under-12s have started their season playing in the Surrey Youth League. A lot of the players are just starting to get into the season and we are progressing well with a lot of players playing higher in age groups and developing. All teams have started strongly.”
Under-13s to Under-16s
“The Under 13s to Under 16s are playing in the JPL league which is a Saturday league and is well under way as well as the Hampshire Cup. For the 16s it’s a big year as they look to move into the scholarship programme so we are looking for players for that at the minute.
“So there will certainly be a lot of movement around. There is a lot of pressure on the 14s,15s and 16s to do well and be very competitive this year and they are expected to have a good run in the Hampshire cup. The current Under 13s won the Hampshire cup and the 15s got to the final.”
Full time Academy: Under-17s to Under-23s
“The Under 17s are playing in the category 1 colleges and it’s been a tough start. It’s an Under 19 league so very competitive with the size and age difference. It is a real challenge.”
“The Under-18s are doing very well in the Bostik league. They are top of the league and through to the next round of the Bostik cup after beating a strong Chertsey team. Sadly we went out of the FA Youth Cup against Yeovil which was a real tough third round qualifying draw.”
“The 19s are in the new National academies league which has been a really tough start but I’m confident we will get things together in that. I’m pretty confident we will be near the top come the end of the season.
“The Under 23s are top as well. So out of the three we aim to be competitive in, being 18s,19s and 23s, two of them are top. It’s just trying to get that third one right.”