'Youth is key' at Horncastle Town

​Horncastle Town boss Andrew Cotton says bringing young players through the ranks at the club will be key to its future.

​The Wongers play in the Lincolnshire League at step seven of the non-league pyramid, but with some clubs in their division enjoying more financial backing than others, a clear divide often forms in the league table each season.

Horncastle currently sit 14th in the 18-team division as the season edges towards its final stages.

So Cotton is well aware that with no ability for the club to pay its players, nor the financial clout to often attract better players if required, the club’s future will rely on its thriving youth setup.

Andrew Cotton says youth is key at Horncastle Town. Photo: John Aron.Andrew Cotton says youth is key at Horncastle Town. Photo: John Aron.
Andrew Cotton says youth is key at Horncastle Town. Photo: John Aron.

He said: “The onus is on clubs like ours to produce their own players. It's hard to just go out and replace players here, especially at this time of the season when they are often established at other clubs, so having players already at the club is key.

"We don’t have the budgets to pay players and most of our income is generated through the clubhouse. We're in an area where players don’t have to travel all that far to be paid to play at a similar level so we suffer a little from that too – you can’t blame players for wanting to do that.

"In a league where some clubs are really throwing money at it in an attempt to climb higher, it makes a difference.

"With that in mind, our focus moving forwards is to use our junior system better and more effectively, and to bring more players into the first team and reserves that have an affinity to the club.”

Cotton says that as the club already looks towards next season, he has been keen to give young players a chance to impress in the first team.

He added: “We're keen to introduce them to football at Lincs League level. We want to be as competitive as possible, so getting some experience as soon as possible will help them be ready to play a part next year.”

Last time out, Horncastle were beaten 4-1 by Lincoln United Development last weekend, Liam Cotton with the Wongers’ goal.

This weekend they host Nettleham, who lie fourth in the league standings.