Adam Smith urges businesses to help secure future of Grimsby Town Youth set-up
GRIMSBY Town Youth boss Adam Smith has urged 100 businesses to help "sustain and grow" the Mariners' Youth set-up by joining The Century Club.
Following the success of the Trawling the Town scheme, the Mariners and the Grimsby Telegraph have linked up once again to launch the new initiative.
The Century Club gives 100 businesses the opportunity to make a real difference to Town's future.
By pledging just £200, companies become members of an exclusive club – and will play their part in safeguarding the Mariners' much-admired Youth system.
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It is a set-up that has produced a conveyor belt of talent, including Premier League star Ryan Bennett and three of Town's current first-team squad.
And Smith, pictured, believes The Century Club is the ideal way for Town and local businesses to work hand-in-hand for a bright future at Blundell Park.
"The Youth department should be the heartbeat of any football club," he said. "This initiative – if supported by local businesses – would give our staff the security to be more forward-thinking and plan for the long term, and how we can grow and improve as a department.
"That could be in terms of increased coaching hours, more contact time, or an improved recruitment strategy. It would allow us to look beyond day-to-day survival."
Describing the benefits for the companies who get involved, Smith added: "We're looking for 100 businesses to come on board with a £200 sponsorship of the Youth set-up.
"We hope that figure opens it up, from one-man bands right the way through to the bigger businesses.
"In return, they get a package of benefits that really does outweigh the £200 input from them.
"They get a piece in the match-day programme each week and a feature in the Grimsby Telegraph, which on its own offers fantastic value for money.
"In addition to that, they will get a prominent place on The Century Club wall in the Youth department bar. We're also looking at developing a Century Club sponsor board, which would be pictured with the two team captains ahead of every home first-team game.
"It's really about providing value for money, giving those businesses who join the Century Club as much coverage as possible – and also, helping us sustain and grow the Youth department."
With Town's teams ranging from Under-9s right up to the Under-18 Youth side, companies can make a real difference to the club's future – and young people's lives.
"At the moment we have just over 100 boys in the system and I'd like to think that the vast majority of them have a positive experience at the football club with us," Smith said.
"They come into the football club three times a week and we provide a good games' programme and coaching syllabus.
"With the help of The Century Club, that can get even better."