*BS*Academy boss Michael Sandmann reflects on the progression made this season and the potential for more players to graduate to the first team…*BF*
The Academy finished the season last week with 3-1 win over league winners Weston-super-Mare.
It has been an excellent season for us with Sean Raggett, Tom Axford and Lloyd Harrington being offered first team contracts by Nicky Forster for next season.
I have been extremely pleased with the progression of the players and it shows that the Academy does work. For me it’s all about producing players to play in the first team and I hope with more experience the three of them can become regulars in seasons to come.
I was proud to watch Lloyd play the last few games for the first team and he showed what potential he has. It’s also a pleasure to see the players develop in the two years of having them and watch them reach their end goal with us.
This year we have also had Tom and Lloyd represent England at schoolboy level. They thoroughly enjoyed the experience, proudly representing the Abbey School and Dover Athletic.
To get three players in one year progress into the first team is outstanding and testament to the players’ hard work every day in training.
*Lpic1*I was also pleased to see eight other Academy players represent Dover Athletic in the Kent Senior Cup. I thank Nicky Forster and Steve Brown for giving the players the opportunity; it shows the club has a real belief in its youth system.
Next season plans are already underway with 23 new Academy players joining the Abbey School and Dover Athletic. I am pleased with the amount of players progressing from the club’s Under-16 youth team into the Academy and shows what a great youth set-up we have.
Dover Athletic is attracting the best players in the youth teams and Academy. We are looking forward to working with these players and hopefully more and more of them will progress into the first team.