Looking to create stars of the future

Lee Mitchell.
Lee Mitchell.

Lee Mitchell is plotting future success stories at Boston United.

The Pilgrims’ technical director is tasked with overseeing the club’s academy, and he believes that the boys’ and girls’ sections can both produce future stars.

A pathway is in place to help local talent progress from Tiny and Young Pilgrims through to the academy teams and under 19 squads before, hopefully, moving into the first team squad.

The girls, meanwhile, can take a similar route from the Wildcats and girls’s football club to the successful Boston United Ladies.

And while it is every club’s dream to create their own stars of the future, Mitchell is confident that can be achieved at the Jakemans Stadium.

“Where we are at as a football club throughout, we have to be realistic and look at things that can really make a difference and, at the same time, that are achievable,” he said.

“Every young player that we come into contact with as a club from a very young age has the potential to make it. It is our job to help them achieve this.

“Parents need to know that their kids are safe and will continue to grow as individuals and in football with us; our aim is to progress their child through the football club’s ranks and produce locally-grown talent.”

Recent success stories have included Taylor Gray signing first team forms and ex-player Harry Vince making first-team appearances, while a number of female players have reached National Performance Camps or attended national camps to represent England, Wales and Scotland.

But keeping hold of players is not always easy, such as under 19 defender Jack Withers linking up with Swansea City earlier this year.

“We are addressing everything from the ground upwards from the players and parents to the coaches, facilities, and the environment we create,” Mitchell added.

“These players will have a clear vision of what we are about as a club and where we are looking to go.

“We are under no illusions that along the way, if we are doing everything the right way and how we want to develop our players, the clubs that are higher up the league to us will come knocking for our players, which we expect – but we see that as part of our success.

“At Boston United, players have a realistic opportunity to develop and achieve a place in our first team in comparison to if they went to higher league clubs.

“Craig Elliott has shown a great interest in our young players attending training and fixtures - but it is my job and the players’s to work hard and make sure they have a real chance to achieve a place with the first team.”

Boston United Sports College and Football Academy are holding an open day on Saturday, December 8 (11am to 1pm) at Focus One, Mill Road in Boston for prospective students and players aged 16 to 19 years old.

For details email academy@bufc.co.uk for more information.