Mount Pleasant equipped to produce home-grown players
Walter 'Wally' Downes, Mount Pleasant Football Academy's new youth academy coach, said young players will have no need to leave the island at a tender age in order to develop into top professional players, as his coaching staff is equally equipped or better than what they have in England.
Downes, who played for and coached Wimbledon FC, said at Mount Pleasant the focus will be firmly on developing players and helping them make the transition through to senior team football, and young players will not need to go to clubs overseas to improve their overall game and professionalism.
He said even if overseas clubs are interested in acquiring the club's young talents, with the resources and expertise at their disposal he believes young players can stay home and complete their training before they take the next step.
"I would be happy to say he (young player) is in his environment, he is 12 years of age, let him develop here. There is no point taking a kid out of the country at that kind of age," Downes said in an interview on Mount Pleasant's Instagram page.
"The coaches we will be bringing in will be of equal quality to anything they got over there (England). I have worked there so I know. The coaches we will be bringing in will be better than the coaching they (kids) get at 12 (years old) over there. So there will no need for players to leave the island if they need to better their careers, their technique or the tactical (awareness), because the coaches we are bringing in are equal or better than the ones in England," he stated.
He said the objective of any academy is to create a pathway to improve, educate and bring players through all the stages up to first team. "My focus is on getting these players to make the transition from the minute they walk through the door at seven or eight (years old) until they are out of my jurisdiction at 16, 17 years, when they are delivered to the first team.
"It's about development, transition and finding the pathway for the talented player. Once we can get them into the first team, the next step would be to try and feed them into the national team," he explained.