Levens Put “Trust In Y outh” Ahead Of Highmoor Test - 12 January
Amongst a lot of focus and attention on youth football within national media over the past few weeks, following the 'No Pressure in Paradise' documentary aired on BT Sport on Sunday 7 January, Longlevens FC have adopted their own stance on youth players this season which is paying dividends to all of their sides across the Stroud and District League, Gloucestershire Northern Senior League and Uhlsport Hellenic League.
The club's third team, ran by joint managers Dan English and Dan MacDonald have been the greatest drinkers from the “fountain of youth” having 5 players at 16 years old playing regular in their side. The team currently sit top of the Stroud & District League Division Two and joint manager English has nothing but positive things to say about the process.
“We now have 5 players who are regulars for us that are 16 years old. For such a young age they have really taken well to both the football club and the level of football. All of them are really confident on the ball and are generally all really good lads. Since we have put them in they haven’t put a foot wrong”
With the side doing so well this has now attracted the attention of the clubs first team manager Mark Moore who has called up two players;Tom Powell-Davis and Harry Emmett into his sides’ squad this coming Saturday to face Highmoor Ibis in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division. “At the start of the year it was my aim to lead not only the first team but the football club into a new era, the only way I believe to do that is to promote the chance for youth players to succeed.
Both are early products of local professional football academies and came to the football club after being released or simply not enjoying the academy football scene. We’re just trying to give them the best platform to firstly, enjoy their football, but also to play a good level, so were really pleased to hear them get a first team call up” said English.
Tom Powell-Davis, a central and wide right midfielder, was previously on a scholarship as part of the Forest Green Rovers under 18s squad. “After being offered a scholarship with Forest Green, which I started in July. In decided that I would leave to focus on my A levels and then came to join Longlevens, as they ere my local team and a lot of my mates already played for the side”
Powell-Davis went on to tell us how he had started to enjoy his football again since joining Longlevens “Being with the lads and playing with the clubs 3rd team has made me enjoy my football more. Now being given a chance to work up through the team at Longlevens I can only see this leading to more enjoyment”
Harry Emmett, another central midfielder was involved with Cheltenham Town youth academy from Under 11s until Under 16s, when he was released. “I came to Longlevens as some of my mates who were in a similar position to me had done the same thing. Since joining the club I’ve settled in nicely and have been given lots of support, which has made it easier for me to be a part of the team”
Both Powell-Davis and Emmett will go into Moores squad on Saturday which host Highmoor Ibis, as he aims to add even more momentum to their recent run of form over the festive period.
Updated 19:57 - 15 Jan 2018 by Wayne Jones
“The past month we have turned in some really good performances against the teams around us, which has resulted in us picking up points and climbing the table. We’ve beaten; Burnham, Lydney Town and Brackley Town Saints and although narrowly lost to Thatcham amongst them, the performance that we gave was positive against what are probably one of the form teams in the country at our level at the minute”