Weston manager turning to youth

PUBLISHED: 16:33 16 June 2014

New manager for Weston AFC Mickey Bell.

New manager for Weston AFC Mickey Bell.

Archant

NEW Weston manager Mickey Bell is targeting the club’s youth system to produce more first-team regulars ahead of next season.

With well-publicised budget reductions and the departure of nine senior players, Bell told the Mercury he is looking to the future for the new campaign.

The club have targeted a season of consolidation for 2014/15 and would likely welcome a repeat of last season’s 11th-placed finish, and will aim for a promotion push the following year when league funding is increased.

A number of youth products have come through the ranks in recent years, including current first team regulars Dayle Grubb and Brad Ash, with the academy run in partnership with Weston College.

Bell said: “We are going to be a young side in the main, and bring in a couple of more experienced players to complement them. we want to develop our young lads during the season.

“I want to help develop the club and help bring the younger players through so we can produce our own on a regular basis, and eventually look beyond that and see where it takes us. I also know a lot of players, coaches and managers in the south west region, and I will be looking to use that to the club’s advantage.”

The manager added he was not concerned about the turnover in players early in the close-season at the Woodspring Stadium, and those incoming would hae to be totally committed to the club.

He said: “We are looking at the squad. It’s normal at the end of every season you get people leaving for various reasons and we have just got to get on with our job and get the best possible team out there next year.

“I think the budget is fine and no problem whatsoever, the board are doing as much as they can to help me. It’s important that the fans know that we are going to have a really committed team of players that want to play for Weston.”

Bell’s first game in charge of the Seagulls will be a friendly against Bristol City, with whom he spent eight years as a player, on 9 July.

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