Cleethorpes Town chief full of praise for Trawling the Town campaign
THE vice-chairman of one of the area's top amateur sides has thrown his support behind the Trawling the Town campaign, after seeing a crop of his club's youngsters benefit from the initiative.
David Mann of Cleethorpes Town, has praised the project, which was launched earlier this year to give local young footballers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sign for Grimsby Town.
After its launch, two sets of trials were held at Oasis Academy Wintringham, with hundreds of youngsters taking part under the watchful eye of the club's professional coaches.
Those who impressed were invited back for further training with the club's Academy side.
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Ten footballers from the first set of trials have since signed for the club's under 9's team and have already played two games this season against counterparts from Doncaster Rovers and Bradford City last weekend.
Those selected from the summer trials, have already begun training with their respective Academy age-groups, in the hope of earning permanent places in the squads.
And, after seeing a number of Cleethorpes' young players enjoy success with Trawling the Town, Mr Mann described it as a "great opportunity" for youngsters.
He said: "If one of our boys wants to, and is good enough to play for a club like Grimsby Town, then we're only too happy for them to do that, because they can always say their development began with us.
"We've sent kids to Doncaster Rovers and Hull City in the past, but not that many to Grimsby Town, until Trawling the Town was launched. It's a great initiative for the kids.
"This town is football mad and there are plenty of talented kids out there – they should have the opportunity to play for their local club.
He added: "We should be pulling together for the good of the kids – that's what it's all about for us.
"If it helps Grimsby Town get stronger, then obviously it helps us grow stronger as a club.
"The kids are the key to it all – it's all about them and their progression in our eyes. I'm all for kids getting these opportunities.
"Ultimately, if they don't make it at Grimsby Town, I then want to see them coming back to us and enjoying their football, that's what it's all about.
"A group of our lads have joined Town as a result of Trawling the Town which is pretty good.
"It's a real testament to our coaches and the way our club is run.
"We do already have a link with Hull City and Doncaster, so it's great that we're now forging a similar relationship with Grimsby Town through Trawling The Town."
Adam Smith, Academy Manager at GTFC, said: "Trawling the Town was a great success at the time and we had a fantastic response. There's still some work to be done to get the lads we identified back into the club but it has been very positive.
"When clubs like Cleethorpes Town are happy to work with you and try to come up with the best solution for the young players, then it's fantastic.
"The lads that were brought in as a result of the very first trials at Easter are now up and running. I actually took the side on Sunday and they did really well.
"We've got ten boys in the squad that are in the squad as a result of Trawling the Town and that is fantastic.
"For me, the process has come full circle now, they are in a team, playing for Grimsby Town and it's all down to the initiative which is great.
"There is no doubt that it works and no doubt that it provides local youngsters with a great chance to play for their local team.
"It's all about giving young footballers that opportunity and we're already looking forward to doing it again."