New playing opportunities at Southam United

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Work is continuing on the new artificial pitch at Bobby Hancocks Park.

SOUTHAM United have announced further plans to develop their playing set-up as the club settles into its new home at Bobby Hancocks Park, writes David Hucker.

In addition to the re-launch of the men’s senior team for next season, the club is also planning on the return of youth and women’s football sides, for which trials will be held in April and May.

Two new teams at U16s and U18s level will play on Saturday mornings in the Midland Junior Premier League, providing an opportunity to participate at a good level of football, backed by high standard of coaching from the club.

They are being aimed at players from Southam and surrounding areas, including Leamington, Kenilworth, Warwick, Daventry, Rugby and Banbury.

The trials, which are open to players currently aged 14 and upwards, will start on Wednesday, 24th April and run for six weeks, finishing on Wednesday, 29th May.

In addition, there will be an open training taster session for next season’s U18s team on Wednesday, 10th April and the club is inviting anyone interested in taking part in any of the upcoming trials to reserve a place by contacting them at football@southamunited.com.

“Our aim is to focus on long-term player development incorporating technical and tactical, physical, psychological and social development, whilst creating a positive and supportive environment to train and play” said Southam’s director of football, Wayne Goss.

“The U16s and U18s will form part of our new player pathway, providing them with a realistic opportunity of progressing through to our men’s team.

“Players at these ages often find their progress into senior football restricted through a lack of opportunities after they reach the age of 16.”

Saints are also launching a new women’s first team and are currently looking for female players aged 16 and upwards to play next season in the Birmingham County Women’s League with games taking place on Sunday afternoons and regular training sessions at Bobby Hancocks Park.

For further information, contact the coaches at kevin.squirrell@southamunited.com or sophie.bourton@southamunited.com.

Another exciting development at the club aimed at increasing the participation of girls has been the FA accredited SSE Wildcats Centre award.

The initiative offers organised sessions in a fun and engaging environment created exclusively for girls who want to take part in football for the first time or continue their development if they have started to play football.

The weekly Wildcats sessions will commence on Monday, 1st April between 6.30pm and 7.30pm and Goss described the aim as ‘providing a safe environment to inspire girls to engage with football, meet new friends, develop fundamental skills, learn new things and create the foundation for a lifelong love of football.’

“Our Wildcats Centre will be run by primarily FA qualified female club coaches and run in conjunction with the Birmingham County FA with sessions, initially based at our current Banbury Road Junior pitches before moving to our brand new home at Bobby Hancocks Park,” he added.

“The initiative continues the development of girls football at the club under the management of club development officer Sophie Bourton, which has seen the formation this season of an U11 team in addition to a new U9 side, who have been playing league games since the turn of the year.”

For those wanting to take part in the SSE Wildcats sessions, parents and guardians can register their interest at sophie.bourton@southamunited.com.

A few places also remain for the club’s Football and Education Academy commencing in September for current Year 11 students who are looking towards a career in sport and the opportunity to play and train full-time for the duration of the two-year BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport qualification.

Year 11 students who would like to find out more can contact the Academy at academy@southamunited.com.