The future is bright at Exmouth Town

Exmouth Town supporters providing first aid kits for the youth team

Exmouth Town supporters providing first aid kits for the youth team - Credit: Archant

The future is bright at Exmouth Town

Exmouth Town’s youth set-up have had a frustrating start to the season but hopes are high for the resumption of football, writes Martin Cook.

Like every other youth set-up, the season started late due the lockdown, and then in October, the set-up was shut down for a couple of weeks due to a Covid case in the senior structure.

This, followed by the recent lockdown, means Teams have not been able to play too many fixtures this season.

The highlights so far have been a large crowd of over 150 watching the 18s local derby on a Sunday.

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It has also been great to see players from the youth set-up playing in different teams within the system and progressing to play in the reserves and senior football.

This has been a credit to the youth system, with over 140 players, 17 coaches and numerous parents and guardians. Not only do they support the playing side of the game, but support Exmouth Town Football Club under the guidance of Nick James.

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The club itself is trying to support the youth football by admitting under 16s into senior games for free for the past two seasons. Town have also made sure all the youth coaches have complimentary season tickets to forge a link with the senior side of the club.

Town Under-9s coach Marck Upcott said: “Our Under-9s have adapted brilliantly to playing seven-a-side and both teams in the first season have enjoyed training sessions, which bodes well for the future.”

The Under-12s have had a great start to the season and are sitting second in their League, having won all three of their games, only conceding one goal.

The 12s could have a busy December but coach Arron Skinner said: “This will be great for the team in a promotion push. The lads and parents are looking forward to the restart.”

Under-13s coach Nick Badger said: “The 13s who have stepped up to full-size pitches this season and have found it a bit of a shock, as they are not the biggest team, but they haven’t let that bother them.

“Even though they have lost both of their games, they have shown some great team spirit and the willingness to learn and train well. “With the addition of some new players, it will help the squad as they move forward.”

Nick James, Under-15s manager, said: “After a slow start, we did get an away win at Copplestone and look forward to a couple of Home games in December.”

James Beverley, Under-16s coach, said: “The start to the season has seen the under 16s win both of their games, scoring 18 goals only conceding one.“

There has also been four lads from the Under-16s who have stepped up into the successful Under-18s side.”

Town’s Under-18s have made a strong undefeated start to the season in the Devon Under-18 Youth League and are sitting top of the table, having scored 19 goals in the opening five games against opposition which has generally been older than the Town squad.

The 18s have been depleted by injuries but the Under-16 lads have been able to step up.

Under-18s coach Drew Worthington said: “The majority of the team have played together for the Community College football team and at the club.

“The chemistry and hard work ethic has shone through and stands the side in good stead for the rest of the season.

“It is great to see two of the 18s have also made the big step up as well, having turned out for Town Reserves in Step 7 football in the Devon Football League.”

Moving forward, Exmouth Town Football Club are extremely proud of the work going on.

The ambition is to expand the set-up and look for more pitches, including stating an interest in operating at the Warren View facility.

In the near future, Town hope that the youth set up will return to playing after lockdown.

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