Kimberley boss welcomes new partnership with Priory Celtic

Kimberley boss Ant Ward says a new link-up with the club and Priory Celtic can only be good for football in the town.

Saturday, 27th June 2020, 4:04 pm
Updated Saturday, 27th June 2020, 4:11 pm
Priory Celtic Hoops face Burton Joyce. Priory Celtic players could now play for the Kimberley first team one day.

The partnership agreement means youngsters in the Priory Celtic set-up will now have a pathway into adult football.

The team currently only has one Sunday morning adult side, while Kimberley will now be able to have a bigger pool of adult and junior players to choose from.

“Priory are one of the biggest clubs in Nottinghamshire as a youth section,” he said.

“It just builds bridges and a better relationship between the two clubs. It provides us with a better pool of players going forward.

“This partnership is not going to block or prevent any of the Kimberley youth players from having a pathway, it just gives us more players and is great news for the town.

“When you are a club the size of Kimberley, which is small with a limited amount of youth teams, a partnership makes sense.

“We have no budget as a club so something like this is vital in increasing the amount of players we have to choose from.

“It provides more opportunities for youngsters in the area and I think it can also develop our football club.

“It is not just about a first team. Some players may not be ready for adult football straightway and may need a pathway like the U19’s or reserve.

“It is a big life experience for the U16’s. That is vital but this can also help keep them in the game longer.”

The first stage of the partnership ssees Matt Ellis, who runs one of Priory’s U17 teams, take on the role of U19’s Kimberley manager.

Priory’s existing U16 and U18 players will also train with the senior adult slides to aid their progression into the U19’s, development and first teams.

And Ward added that his own personal experience helped show the valkue of the new link-up.

“When I was playing at youth level I was lucky enough to go into senior football straight away,” he said.

“But some of my mates were like ‘what do we do’ because football ended at U18. There was no U19’s, there was often limited reserve opportuniteis, so hopefully this extends young lads’ playing careers.

“Even if they just want to stay healthy and play football each week they can continue to do so.”

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