Nichol wants academy to feed the first team

Steve Nichol

Steve Nichol

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FC Halifax Town’s new head of youth development wants the club’s academy to bridge the gap to the first-team.

Former Garforth Town manager Steve Nichol will oversee Town’s new academy, which was announced earlier this week, and says a whole new structure will be put in place at the club.

He said: “I met the chairman a few months ago and we spoke a few times about different ideas and this seemed a right fit for me and David.

“We want to put in place the best training programme we can to allow young players to achieve their potential and bridge the gap to the first team and put the club at the heart of the community.

“The priority has been around the first team but we want to make the club more self-fulfilling.

“People might not see results immediately but we’ll be putting a whole new structure in place.

“It’s hard to focus on some of the wider aspects but it’s a great time to start it on the back of the promotion.

“I hope we can have a top training programme and get players involved in the club between the ages of five and 18.

“Then hopefully we’ll have players going into the first-team and feeding the senior squad so that if one player leaves another can step up and take his place.”

Chairman David Bosomworth said: “I’m really excited about our next chapter in the FC Halifax story.

“The development and launch of these two key initiatives are extremely important not only to the football club but to the community that we are a part of.

“Steve’s appointment is a significant one and shows our ambitious growth plans.”

Of the current first-team squad, only Ryan Toulson has come through the youth system at the Shay.

The likes of youngsters Osebi Abadaki, Shaun Kelly and Conor Qualter all made first-team appearances this season, as did under-19 captain Josh Messer.

FC Halifax Town’s under-19s, who will continue to be managed by Des Hazel, finished third in this season’s Football Conference Youth Alliance North Division.