Firm pledges to help nurture 'the next Bradley Wood'
GRIMSBY Town's Youth system has had its fair share of success stories – and Bradley Wood is perhaps one of the best known of the current first-team squad.
The Leicestershire- born defender joined the Mariners' then School of Excellence at under-16s level after impressing against one of Town's youth teams during a pre-season fixture.
He joined up with Town and quickly progressed through the Youth and Reserve ranks to become an established member of the first-team squad – racking up more than 100 appearances.
Rick Graves, director of Warvill Wholesale Supplies, believes the 21-year-old is a prime example of the benefits of a strong Youth set-up – and why he's decided to pledge his firm's support to The Century Club.
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The initiative – launched in partnership between the Grimsby Telegraph and the Mariners before Christmas – is asking 100 companies to pledge £200 each to help sustain and grow the club's Youth set-up.
Graves said: "I like Bradley and I think he is a cracking player and underlines what the Youth system can achieve.
"He's got an unrivalled passion for Grimsby Town, and, as a fan like me, that's great to see.
"As a defender, if he is ever beaten, he's only beaten the once – he'll make sure of that.
"If our company's donation, as members of the club, can play a part in bringing through 'the next Bradley Wood', we'll be delighted!"
On The Century Club, Graves, who has been with the company for nearly 25 years, added: "I don't think you can promote the Youth set-up enough – it really is so important to the club.
"I'm a huge Town fan and quite a big sponsor of the club so it was a natural progression for us to get involved in The Century Club.
"I saw the initiative advertised in the Telegraph and the match-day programme and wanted to get involved.
"I think it's a great campaign and anything that can be done to promote the Youth team is a positive thing.
"It's always nice as a fan when you see lads coming through from the Youth team into the first-team picture, just like Bradley, Andi Thanoj and Dayle Southwell have done.
"They have the passion for the club and want to play for Grimsby Town and that means a lot to us supporters."