Wongers are putting their faith in youth

Nathan Rawdon and Steve Lovett.
Nathan Rawdon and Steve Lovett.

Horncastle Town are on the lookout for youngsters to bolster their new under 18s side - and maybe their first team.

The squad, which will compete in the Lincs Intermediate Football League, will mostly be made up of the players graduating from the successful under 16s side.

But Town - who have a proud record of promoting youngsters to the first team, which competes in the Lincolnshire League - are keen to add to their ranks.

First team boss Mickey Stones believes creating the new set-up, which will train alongside the seniors, is key to making the club a long-term success.

He said: “It’s about leaving the club in a strong position, not just going out and making signings for this season.

“Our under 16s are excellent, and everyone who has turned 16 has been given their chance with the first team at some stage.

“Next season we’ll be looking to use about three or four under 16s in the first team every week, so there will be opportunities.”

Stones added that the emphasis of the under 18 side will be player development, ensuring each team member gets the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

He cited the progression of himself, joint boss Andrew Shinn and current assistants Nathan Rawdon and Steve Lovett as examples, stating: “Everybody matures at different stages at that age.

“When we were 16 or 17-year-olds me, Shinny and Lovett were in the first team and Nath wasn’t always in the reserves.

“By the time we were 19 or 20 he was a first-team regular and he’s continued to improve while the rest of us stagnated.

“It’s crucial to remember that and give everyone their chance at the right time.”

Youngsters interested in the new under 18s set-up are invited to contact manager Ian Close on 07826 916944 or turn up for pre-season training at The Wong on Tuesday (June 20) at 6.30pm.