Academy Update | Huw Jenkins

Huw Jenkins

A lot of the work going on behind the scenes has involved the Academy, another area of the club that has not had the club’s full attention over the years.

It is an important area for the club if we aim to bring local players through the age grades and into our first team. As a football fan myself, there is nothing better than hearing the supporters chant ‘he’s one of our own’ during games. We need to hear that again – and on a regular basis.

Academy manager Luke Hussey has worked extremely hard over the last 12 months just to keep the Academy operational in difficult circumstances.

The training and playing facilities they have had to work with in Newport have been extremely poor to say the least.

We have started to rectify that by moving part of the Academy to the University of South Wales campus in Treforest in order to utilise the excellent sporting facilities on site and make us more professional in everything we do.

We also had to undergo a strict PL / EFL Academy audit where we had to meet strict rules and requirements, including facilities, to maintain our Academy status. This made our move to USW a must to meet those targets.

Our scholars (16-18 year-olds) will be moving there full-time next season, with the aim of other age groups hopefully following on.

Our entire age group’s fixture programme from under 9s will also take place there on weekends, which will give everyone a boost and raise the level of the Academy to the next level.

The last thing we wanted to do was move part of the football club out of Newport, but the poor quality and lack of sporting facilities in Newport itself has forced our hand.

Our first team also need better training facilities if we are to improve and develop our current players and attract new ones to the club in the future.

I recently met with Newport Council about the situation and will be meeting with our local MP and MS next month to update them on our current predicament. I will, of course, keep you updated.