Bittner unveils City's "exciting" academy venture

Bittner makes a save at Braintree Town

Bittner makes a save at Braintree Town

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BUDDING footballers wanting to pursue a fruitful career with Salisbury City have a chance to join the club's new academy setup at Wellington Academy.

Teenagers aged between 16 to 18-years-old aiming to turn professional can join the two year academy programme which incorporates playing and studying a level 2/3 diploma in sport full-time.

Coach and goalkeeper James Bittner came up with the idea to launch a new format.

“Our aim is to attract an array of talent,” Bittner, 32, said. “Obviously, the first year will be hard but hopefully people will see the quality of coaching on offer and our long-term goal is to recruit players who will make it through to the first team.”

“When I re-joined the club, I had a look at the academy and I decided that it needed a fresh start.

“There will be more football at Wellington Academy. The lads will train full time in the morning and be taught in the afternoon.”

Bittner's former Whites teammate Marvin Brown, who is an UEFA B qualified football coach, will manage the day-to-day running of the academy.

Three trials, all on the 3G all-weather pitch, will be held on Friday April 25, with two more dates set for May 16 and May 30 - all from 6pm to 8pm.

Bittner and Brown are urging aspiring footballers to demonstrate their talent at the upcoming trials, which is offering an exciting opportunity.

“We're the second biggest team in Wiltshire, behind Swindon, and we're the next point of call for these young lads,” Bittner continued.

“I'm hoping boys who have been released from Premiership and Championship academies will come to us.

“It's exciting. A club our size should have an academy, whether it's under 9s, 10s or 16s. We want to bring everyone up to the first team level. Quite a few times this season we've only had three of four substitutes, which presents some of the youngsters with a chance to get into the team.

“The facilities on offer are fantastic.”

Both elements of the funding are covered and anyone wishing to book a trial should visit

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