TRIALS for the new West Wiltshire Player Development Centre (PDC) begin next week at Semington Sports Ground.

PDC plans to enter sides into the Junior Premier League, a development league which features teams from across the South and the Midlands and aims to provide a level of football between grassroots and academy-standard.

PDC, which is run FA-licensed coaches Martin Read and Simon Partington, will be running trials on May 19 and 26 (U12s), May 18 and 27 (U13s), May 19 and 28 (U14s) and May 22 and 29 (U15s), from 6.15 – 8.00pm.

Coach Read said: “It’s a three-quarter stepping stone link between grassroots football and academy-level football.

“We want to offer opportunities to children to play a very good standard of football but it also means that they can carry on playing for their grassroots clubs, whereas at academy level they’re not allowed.

“We want to run an U14s and U15s next season to play competitively in the league but we also want to run U12s and U13s to train for the season and play friendly games against other JPL teams in the same age group to prepare them - that’s really about bedding them in because it is a step up.

“There’s more than enough talented children in the area and we certainly believe that the way the structure of youth football in this country is being run is inherently wrong. A lot of children are being missed due to, for example, a coach wanting a certain brand of football or a player not being big enough in height.

“We want to offer opportunities to children of all abilities and if they don’t quite have the superstar talent but they’re willing to show it, then we’ll work with them because that’s what coaches do.

“What we would like to do is split our games in the area. We’re talking to several semi-professional clubs about utilising their facilities for some games and we’re looking at other places at the moment too.

“We’re in talks with a coach company for travelling to games and it’ll be a good professional set-up – the kids will be all properly kitted out and we’re looking for any sponsors that want to help us with uniforms.”

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