Salisbury City revolutionise youth academy

Michael Cooper's orchestrated Salisbury City's youth system link up with Sarum Academy: Picture by Carolyn White

Michael Cooper's orchestrated Salisbury City's youth system link up with Sarum Academy: Picture by Carolyn White

First published in Sport by

SALISBURY City have announced plans to move their youth academy to the top of the range facilities at Sarum Academy.

The youth system is currently affiliated with Sparsholt College, but from September, the club will be running a full-time course aimed at 16 to 19-year-olds, who want to pursue a career with Salisbury City.

The Salisbury City Football Club Football Studies Course at Sarum Academy, will enable the students to use the first-class education and sport facilities on offer.

Head of youth development, Michael Cooper, has been in the process of restructuring the youth system for over a year and now the club have 17 teams in different age groups, playing in leagues across the south.

Cooper said: “When I rejoined the club in 2011, I looked at the youth development in the club and I saw a lot of potential, but no structure.

“Over the past 18 months, we’ve worked hard to put a development plan in place and have been awarded FA community club status. We’re moving in the right direction and things will only improve.”

Before the football course starts, which will be delivered in partnership with Sarum Academy, successful students will be selected from a trial process.

First team boss Darrell Clarke believes the project will provide the players with a fantastic opportunity to pursue a career with the Whites.

“The new course at Sarum Academy improves the contact we have with the players, and my coaching staff will deliver the coaching to the players and we’ll be able to work under a club philosophy. This is a very exciting time for young players.”

The club’s board of directors added: “We’d like to thank Sparsholt College for the excellent partnership we’ve had with them over the past three years. We wish them well in the future.” Those interested in joining the course can attend an open evening at Sarum Academy on Thursday (January 24) from 6pm, or can contact the club on 01722 776655.

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