Newton Aycliffe FC and Newton Aycliffe Juniors have announced details of a new and exciting partnership to run a ‘Development’ side, leading eventually to a full reserve/youth pathway through to the first team.
Initially the team will play in the Durham County u21 league, but the exciting plans illustrate a desire to eventually take the team into the Durham Alliance League, following the path taken by the first team in recent years.
Already this season four of the current members of the NAJFC u21s have made the transition into the first team, and it is hoped that by establishing a formal partnership, it will offer more opportunities for the most talented local young players to see a clear route into Northern League football here in Newton Aycliffe.
Newton Aycliffe FC have seen in recent times a number of first team players lured away by the promise of lucrative deals elsewhere in the League, and clearly the hope now is that this partnership will allow the Club to develop more ‘home-grown’ players who are capable of making the step into the Northern League after following the intermediate steps from junior football.
General Manager Dan Lewis said: “We’re delighted to be able to announce this partnership, which begins to give us a stronger structure to underpin our first team.
“Developing home-grown players is a major goal of ours. Over a number of years, we have seen talented young players leave the Town to represent other Clubs, and we hope that we have now started the process of ensuring there is a structure in place which ensures the best local talent will stay within our Club.”
NAJFC Chairman Nige Slatcher added: “We are very pleased and excited to agree this formal partnership approach with Newton Aycliffe FC which we believe will enable Newton Aycliffe Juniors to continue to retain and also attract the best young players from Newton Aycliffe and the surrounding area.
“It is a big step up to play at Northern league level having just finished playing junior football and we firmly believe this will allow players between 17 and 21 years of age the right environment with the correct level of support to mature physically whilst continuing to develop their skills.
“The development agreement reached should allow players from the clubs U21’s a better chance of playing at the highest level possible and if that is hopefully with the towns local northern league club, Newton Aycliffe FC, then the partnership will have proven to be a success which can only be good for both clubs.”
Lewis added: “We hope that this partnership will work in conjunction with the links we have already made with NAYCFC to give greater opportunities for the best local players to play high quality, organised football on the Town and to ensure they can see a clear route through to our First Team.”