Grimsby Town's youth set-up has bright future, says new Academy manager Alan Lamb
NEW Academy manager Alan Lamb says the future is bright for Grimsby Town's youth set-up.
Lamb has taken up the role which was vacated when Adam Smith took over the club's Under-18s side on a full-time basis last month.
The new man knows all about the club's Academy system, having come through it himself as a youngster.
After joining Town, at the age of nine, he progressed through the youth system before signing for the Grimsby College Academy in 2002.
Russell Slade handed Lamb a two-year pro contract with the club, but he made most of his appearances for the Reserve side before leaving in 2006.
He went on to have spells playing for both Eastwood and Brigg Town, either side of six months in the United States and Canada working for Championship side Burnley.
Speaking to the Telegraph after assuming his new role, Lamb said that he was excited by the potential within the Mariners' Academy.
He said: "My job will be to overlook all of the age groups from nine to 16, and build on the excellent work that Adam Smith has done here.
"I'm really excited about the future.
"The things that are already in place here are fantastic and it's about building on that.
"We're working to get the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) in place at the minute.
"With us not being a Football League side, it doesn't count for us yet, but we're getting that in place and getting the structures right so that if we're promoted, it's there and we're ready to go with it."
He continued: "There is some fantastic talent in the club, particularly in the lower age groups, which I think is really encouraging.
"We want to develop the best players from a young age and have them doing the right things and then, as they get older, they can progress.
"There is some real talent and it's about working with them and the coaches to help them realise their potential.
"I've been through the system myself so I know how it works.
"I've seen the fantastic work that goes on here and I've experienced it both as a player and a coach, so in that respect, I've got a bit of experience and I will be looking to use that."
The man who he has replaced, Adam Smith, now the club's Youth Team manager, said: "Alan has been through the system and can relate to many of the challenges players face in becoming professional players.
"He has worked voluntarily in the system for the last two seasons while working towards his UEFA B licence.
" I'm sure the Academy will continue to thrive under his management," he added.