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Youth Team News.

Chat with Stano

Before Saturday’s open-top bus tour with the Youth Team, I caught up with Youth Team Manager Paul Stanton to ask him how he saw the treble winning season.

NP: Today’s bus tour is the last act of what was an exceptional season, what is your most satisfying aspect?

PS: Whilst it’s great to win trophies and tremendous to do the treble, it is also important the players progress not only as footballers, but also in general and I’m pleased to say that this squad has done both. Also, if the side is successful and players are improving we find that there are more players turning up for the trials realising what a good club Folkestone Invicta is.

NP: Knowing the way you and Batesy (Youth Club Chairman Andy Bates) work, I was expecting you to say that! A number of the squad progressed into the First Team squad last season, but it must be frustrating that every season a fair proportion of them leave at the end of each season.

PS: Taking your two points, we are proud that some of the players have been selected to be part of the First Team squad, but yes it is frustrating although again we look on the players’ progress with a lot of pride. This season, we will be losing just under half of the squad, but as I mentioned we shall be having trials, and these will be on Thursday 6th and Tuesday 11th June on the Lower Polo Ground when I know we’ve got a number of good players attending along with those left from the current squad plus some from the Invicta younger age group teams turning up.

NP: It is obviously great for the lads that some have got university places and they will furthering their careers and life experiences, will they be able to continue playing football at a decent level at the same time if they have the opportunity?

PS: University should come first and football second, but Cugs helps by contacting clubs in the areas they are studying, and who knows the club may benefit as they may come back to Folkestone having improved both on and off the football field. Some of the others that aren’t going away but are too old for the Youth Team, will be asked to join pre-season training with the First Team squad, so it is not the case that as soon as the players get too old for the Youth Team, we don’t see them again.

NP: So, moving onto the actual games, what results were the most satisfying this season?

PS: It would be quite hard to look beyond knocking Dover Athletic out of three cup competitions, not just because they are our local rivals, but also because they are a very good side, winning the Kent Youth League South Division and being unbeaten in the process. The 4-0 win at Bearsted was also an excellent result as were those against other Academy teams who are being coached all day every day. Whilst we do our training and drills, we do try and play in the same way as the First Team and I’m regularly in contact with Cugs should he require a particular formation to be used.

NP: Obviously this season the Under 18s got the publicity due to their success , but we have a great youth set-up don’t we?

PS: Yes we do, there is always a number of players coming through the age groups, we start at mini soccer from as young as 4 with the teams structure starting at Under 7s all the way up to the Youth Team (which is Under 18s), the age groups play in either the East Kent Youth League or the Kent Youth League. There are a number of people that work  tirelessly in the background; Catja Morris (who is also on the Kent Youth League Management Committee), Tracey Nunn and Andy Sinclair, plus of course all the Coaches who give up their valuable time both for training and on actual match days, without whom we wouldn’t have a Youth Section.  

NP: Thanks very much for your time  Paul, looks like the hard work starts again next week with the trials, after all you’ve only got to win the treble again!! I guess we’d better get on the bus!!  

Folkestone Invicta Youth Team (Under 18s) Trials

Thursday 6th June

18:30-20:00

and

Tuesday 11th June

18:30 – 20:00

At

Lower Polo Ground