FOOTBALL: Spalding United 'heading in right direction’
Spalding United are stepping up positive plans to produce homegrown talent.
Next season, the Tulips will have under-18, 21 and 23 squads.
Development manager Lewis Thorogood said: “We’re heading in the right direction.
“We’ve made a really good start with a core of players for the development squads next season.
“The progression is already shown by Scott Floyd and Archie Moyses signing for the first-team squad.
“As a club, we are making progress and trying to do things the right way. We’ve achieved a lot in the past 12 months.
“We are putting in a lot of time and effort to produce players from the under-18s, 21s and 23s to the first team.
“The under-21s had great support and publicity last season so we want that to continue.”
Spalding’s under-18s have been formally accepted into the Lincolnshire Intermediate League southern section.
The season starts in early September with matches on Sunday mornings. Home fixtures will be played at Knight Street, Pinchbeck.
The Tulips - led by Steve Johnson who moves from Boston United’s centre of excellence - will also enter the FA Youth Cup next season.
Spalding are also planning to continue in the Lincolnshire FA Under-21 Development League.
An under-23 development squad will play in the Balcan Lighting Supplies Lincolnshire League from August 18.
Home matches will be played on Saturday or midweek at the Sir Halley Stewart Field or Knight Street.
Meanwhile, Spalding’s reserves and A team - who played in the Peterborough and District League - have disbanded.
Newly-formed Spalding Athletic will join Division Two.
Thorogood added: “It was a difficult decision to make but we had to look at the pathway of players.
“The reality is that some of the reserves and A team were not at a standard which we were looking for to develop for the first team.
“There was a conversation with the outgoing people at the start of May.
“We want to go forward and develop homegrown players coming through the system.
“We made a good start with the under-21s last season but those players were brought into the club.”
Spalding will be running an additional open trial at the end of June for under-21/23s. Players must send a footballing CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Development squad pre-season friendlies: July 10 v Pinchbeck United, July 14 v Long Eaton United, July 21 v Sleaford Town, July 24 v Kirby Muxloe, July 26 v Lincoln Moorlands, July 28 v Netherton United, August 7 v Kirton Town.