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Luke Hussey | "The move to USW with the scholars is going to be massive"

11 June 2024

Club News

Luke Hussey | "The move to USW with the scholars is going to be massive"

11 June 2024

Luke Hussey believes Newport County’s academy is building from strength to strength and is looking forward to developing a new strategy and culture at the club.

Hussey joined the Exiles as academy manager in November 2022 following a nine-year spell as part of the youth development team at Bristol City. 

He initially joined the Robins in 2013 as a Youth Development Phase Coach before being appointed the Lead Foundation Phase Coach at the club. 

Then, from 2016 until his arrival in South Wales, Hussey moved on to being the Head of Schoolboy Coaching at Bristol City's High-Performance Centre where he was responsible for the development of all players and coaches from Under-9 to 16 level. 

With almost two years under his belt in NP19, he has been pleased with the progress he has already seen.

The likes of Nelson Sanca and Jac Norris have broken through to the first-team ranks this season, with several other academy players being handed the chance to train and be around the senior set-up.

And Hussey is keen to make sure the philosophy and identity is consistent from the first team down to the academy and is hoping to continue developing the next generation of players at the club. 

“It’s been another season of change but also progression,” said Hussey. 

“In terms of supporting the players, we’ve added a lot to our performance programme ahead of the new season. 

“We’ve recruited new strength and conditioning coaches, new medical staff and a player-care role which will help develop young players’ life skills and off-the-field activities. 

“We’ve also developed our game model by recruiting more academy coaches which boost us and there’s a lot of good change going on in the academy.”

In a bid to change the structure of the club professionally, the academy have recently secured a partnership with the University of South Wales (USW) which will see all scholars move to the USW Sports Park facility in Treforest from next season.

The move will see the academy move out from Lliswerry High School - their current base - and embark on a new era ahead of the 2024-25 season.

As part of the agreement with the University, the club will also being hosting it’s games-programme from the Sports Park every weekend. 

And Hussey insists the new move to USW will have positive influence going forward. 

“The move to USW with the scholars is going to be massive and game-changing for us as an academy,” he added. 

“Behind the scenes we’ve been looking at moving our academy facilities. Unfortunately, our facilities haven’t been fit for purpose, a fact confirmed in our recent PL/EFL academy audit. 

“We’ve done a lot of work around that over the last few months, and we pleased to announce that we’re going to move to USW from next season. 

“It’s a really big part of the strategy piece that we’re looking to develop, especially in terms of the three main pillars at the club; the recruitment of players, the facilities we operate within and the coaches and coaching. 

“We obviously want to stay in Newport, and we want to stay connected with the city, but the number of facilities and the quality of facilities just aren’t there and are not of the quality that the Premier League audit require. 

“We’ve been in discussions with USW in Treforest and they offer world-class facilities; a full-size indoor 4G pitch, great grass pitches, a gym and classrooms. 

He finished: “Our scholars will go there full-time from next season and that will be game-changing for them and the academy. 

“All of our game-programmes will be there from next season too, ranging from under 18s to under 16s. 

“It will be a real step up in our facilities and we’re looking forward to next season.” 

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