CORNISH YOUNGSTERS GIVEN BEST OPPORTUNITY TO PROGRESS THROUGH BOYS TALENT PATHWAY
About the partnership
Cornwall FA has been working closely with Plymouth Argyle Academy and Community Trust along with Penryn College, Mounts Bay Academy and Cornwall Schools FA for a number of years to provide a clear pathway for talented young players to progress throughout Cornwall. Unlike most other areas in England, Cornwall does not have a professional club and therefore no direct link to academies for youth male players. We revised our pathway in 2012 to provide a structured and supportive route to give players the best opportunity to be recognised and progress step by step into the professional game.
This link has proven to be very beneficial for local players with a large number from Cornwall being signed to the Argyle Academy, two Cornish player received England camp call ups last summer and the U15 Cornwall CoE squad travelled to the East Mallorca Cup in Spain earlier this year to test themselves against tough opposition.
Below we explain the player pathway in full and the progression routes players can take.
The Player Pathway
Development Centres and Club Football- Open Sessions
ARGYLE Community Trust run a series of development centres across the region, using the Plymouth Argyle coaching syllabus to develop individual skills and match awareness.
The team of coaches will focus on a different theme each week, as we look to improve technique and understanding of all positions in the game. These themes are then reinforced in small-sided matches.
The Development Centres follow the FA Four Corner Model of football: Technical, Physical, Social and Psychological. All players in our Development Centres will be continuously monitored for inclusion in the Long-Term Player Development programme. These centres are designed to be used alongside regular grassroots club football, not as an alternative.
Long Term Player Development Centres (LTPD)- Invite Only
The first step on the pathway is the Long Term Player Development Centres (LTPD), these invite only centres offer high quality coaching whilst the syllabus places specific emphasis on enhancing the skills of gifted young footballers, providing a platform for talented players to progress in the game.
The course is rigorously structured to enhance development and carries a higher expectation of performance. Depending on the age, coaching primarily focuses on attacking, transitions, defending and ball manipulation.
Reviews are commonly held at a four-month point within the LTPD centre. Coaches decide whether the player needs to improve in the four coaching corners: technical, tactical, psychological and physical ability. At this point, coaches also determine whether to retain the player at the current level or move them up or down (Development Centre or 6 week trial at Centre of Excellence).
Centre of Excellence (CoE)- Invite Only
The Centre of Excellence is the 2nd Step on the ‘Player Pathway’ with players feeding from the LTPD centres, players will be required to complete a 6-week trial before being accepted onto the programme. The level of performance is again raised at the CoE, there is a higher competition for places at this stage of the pathway. Coaches will follow a syllabus specifically designed for each age group and will review players on a continuous basis.
If successful at the CoE, players can potentially be offered a trial for the full Plymouth Argyle Academy or, for the younger ones, they can be invited to a pre-Academy. This is the last stage of the pathway in which players are able to be involved in grassroots football.
Plymouth Argyle Academy- Invite Only
The Academy is the final stage of the player pathway, here players will be invited to trial and if successful will sign a formal contract. Players will not be eligible to player for their grassroots clubs once they are signed to the academy.
success stories from cornwall. . .
International Experience for Cornwall’s U15’s
Cornwall Centre of Excellence U15 players experienced international play at the East Mallorca Cup in Spain earlier this year. The tournament saw teams from all around the world come together to compete and challenge themselves, playing and learning from each other to ultimately better their experience and performance.
The team faced opposition from clubs such as Barcelona, Manchester City, Genk, CSK Moscow and RCS Mallorca whilst being supported by Argyle coaches Jamie Day, John Fabby and Alex Bressington.
Working in partnership with Cornwall FA, the Centre of Excellence team’s ambition was to play against some of the world’s leading academies and future superstar players whilst being challenged mentally as well as physically.
England U15 Training Camp Call Ups
Oscar Massey and Brandon Pursall who both play with Plymouth Argyle Academy were selected for the England Under-15s training camp which took place from August 14th -17th in Loughborough last summer.
Both players from Cornwall had worked their way up through the Cornwall player pathway which is run in partnership with Argyle.
Six Players Represent Argyle at International Tournament
The Super Cup NI competition, formerly known as the Milk Cup, has been running since 1983, and has featured some of football’s biggest names.
Argyles’ Academy travelled to Northern Ireland in July with the following players having been apart of the Cornwall pathway at some point; Jack Matthews, Oscar Massey, Brandon Pursall, Zak Baker, Oscar Halls and Ryan Downing.
The squad faced Arsenal, County Londonderry and Chilean side O’Higgins FC in the group stage.
Cornish Player Aims To Become First Professional with Cystic Fibrosis
Morgan Coxhead was invited to train with the Plymouth Argyle U18 team. Morgan is a Goalkeeper and although he has a condition which he manages on a daily basis, he doesn’t let this stop him from achieving his dream of being a professional. As well as training he has also taken part in a couple of pre-season friendlies with Argyle.