Boston United plan to launch under 23s side in bid to nurture young talent

Chairman David Newton reveals plans which will also see expansion of education programmes

Boston United are hoping to begin operating an under 23s side.

The Pilgrims believe the move will allow the club to keep hold of their talented youngsters while also bringing in prospects who have been released by professional clubs.

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Chairman David Newton explained the plan is to 'bridge the gap' between the under 19s and first team.

United currently run youth sides up to under 19s, many of the players part of the full time education course at the Jakemans Community Stadium, which sees youngsters combine studying for a BTEC qualification with training sessions and matches.

Promising youngsters from the youth set up, such Finlay Armond and Owen Sheriff, are on the fringes of the first team but currently play their senior football for other clubs in the United Counties League and Lincolnshire League.

But as United look to expand their education programmes, they are also looking to add to the teams under their umbrella.

Under 19s skipper Owen Sheriff. Photo: Craig Harrison

"The Community Foundation is a big part of the football club," Mr Newton said at Sunday's Evening With John Blackwell, where the Pilgrims president spoke about his years with the club.

"We have about 30-35 students here every day doing the football and coaching side, but also doing the BTEC courses.

"We're looking to expand that as we go forward, hopefully double that next college year.

"We're looking to expand the under 19s as we finish at under 19s, education-wise.

"We're trying to move it to under 24s, with degree courses as well. That will allow the lads to stay with us and continue their education.

"It will also allow us to build an under 23s side and allow the existing lads to stay with us and progress.

"It also allows us to bring in some players who have been released by pro clubs with a view to bridging that gap between the youth team and the first team.

"We're hoping to get that up and running for next September."

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It was not mentioned which league the under 23s would look to play in.

Mr Newton also gave an update on the plans to build a stand and sports hall on the south of the stadium.

He added: "At the minute we can't get any fixed costs on steel, concrete and things like that.

"As as soon as we can and, hopefully, if we have enough money, we will continue to build that end."

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