WA Coach Tanya Oxtoby at Notts County Ladies FC

13 March 2014

Notts Believe in Youth

“If you’re good enough, you’re old enough” is a philosophy which is bread deep into the heart of Notts County Ladies Football Club.

Under the guidance of a management team which is steeped in a history of player development, Notts County are opening their doors to local talent, providing a professional pathway for talent to progress from grass roots football to the Women’s Super League.

The reserves squad are also governed by a manager who has a strong history with developing players, both locally and internationally. Tanya was a senior coach in the Australian Women’s youth set up, gaining herself a strong reputation for nurturing players which was further strengthened by her work locally in Nottingham. First team manager Rick Passmoor has hailed Tanya, believing she is key to the club’s philosophy, “Bringing Tanya to the club to work with the future talent of Notts County Ladies was vital in order to progress this pathway we are building. Her reputation goes before her and certainly doesn’t lie. Tanya’s work is very impressive and it is great to see the time she puts into the development squad paying off, as players start to emerge as genuine contenders for the first team.”

The reserves are dedicated and committed to developing and cultivating local talent. One talent that has been highlighted in pre season is that of Under 19 star Sophie ‘Twiggy’ Haywood. After standing out for Oxtoby’s team, Sophie has been rewarded with a promotion to the first team, netting the first goal in Notts County’s pre season friendly against Stoke Ladies.

First team manager Rick Passmoor believes Sophie’s progression highlights and commends the pathway the club offer, “Sophie is a great example of desire and talent with the commitment to emulate her peers as she has progressed through the ranks, gaining England recognition at Under 17 and Under 19 levels as well as being a major player with England Colleges . Twiggy has developed from the centre of excellence programme, to the development group, and now the first team. Despite this Twiggy knows more hard work is needed to compliment her skills under the watchful eyes of our management in the first team.”

Rick continued “This scenario typifies the club philosophy to encourage and nurture youth. The WSL has great opportunities for young players to develop and play first team football in complete opposite to some male clubs, who, it is well advertised, can stifle and block progression.”

In previous seasons Rick has given debuts to England Internationals such as Gemma Bonner , Rachel Daly , Jade Moore and Jess Clarke, who were all under the age of 18 when they debutised. A dedication to youth which is emulated at the top level by England manager Mark Sampson who has given chances to Alex Greenwood, Demi Stokes and Lizzie Durack at the recent Cyprus Cup.

Reserve manager Tanya Oxtoby credits the club for their commitment to the youth pathway, “It’s a real credit to the club’s vision and future planning the way they have embraced and supported the youth and development pathway this season. The club has a vision to provide a pathway for those players who have the desire and hunger to better themselves, as they move from centre based football to the next level.”

“The development squad has received a unified approach to training methods, the clubs philosophy and access to facilities, giving all the players involved the professional environment they need to have every chance of progressing to the senior team. This method of training and belief in wanting players to be comfortable in possession and be athletically mobile, ensures the transition from our development squad to the senior team is as seamless as possible, as all the players and staff are on the same page working towards the same goals.”

The unified approach from the club continues as training is moved to Nottingham Trent University’s new 3G surface, allowing both squads to train side by side on a brand new surface, appropriate for all weathers.

Notts County Ladies continue to encourage future talent and welcome those players who are exiting their respective Centre of Excellence, at an Under 17 age group, to train alongside the development squad. Any players interested in this opportunity must contact Tanya in advance by emailing reserves@nclfc.co.uk.

Reference- http://www.nclfc.co.uk/news/notts_believe_in_youth.html