New name for Reserve team

Felixstowe & Walton United’s Reserve team will have a new identity for the start of the 2021/22 season. 

The side will be known as Felixstowe & Walton United Under 23’s.
Chris Daynes, Joint Chairman of The Seasiders,  explained the reasons behind the decision, which has received backing from all members of the football management and club committee.
“It had become clear to me over recent seasons that the Reserve tag carried a stigma to it which perhaps had been a barrier to, not only keeping players within a Reserve set up when coming through the club ranks, but also attracting reinforcements to bolster a Reserve side that has played within a senior league against other clubs first teams in recent seasons.
The concept of a second team existing simply to give players a game of football seems outdated, and the whole ethos of our Club, and a second team, is about developing players.
By replacing the Reserve team with an Under 23 side, it will help to keep U18’s in the club set up after their 2 years at that level, and better aid the whole player pathway from Juniors, all the way through the Under 18’s, Under 23’s and hopefully into the First Team. As the Academy grows, that will hopefully also integrate into the pathway more and more."

The structure of the Under 23’s will allow up-to 3 overage outfield players, plus a goalkeeper, aiding players coming back from injury, or for some experience to be added alongside the younger players.

Craig Norman & Arran Russell from the Under 18’s management commented-
“With Felixstowe & Walton Utd changing the Reserve team to an U23 side, it will hopefully keep the most promising U18’s at the club during and after their time with us in the Thurlow Nunn Youth League, but also attract promising young footballers who wish to progress into the first team given time." 

The Seasiders Under 23’s will compete once again in the Essex & Suffolk Border League Premier Division next season under the management of Ian McCormack.
Ian added “I echo what Craig and Aaron have said and would add that from my perspective I have already seen the benefits of what the change of name will do in my attempts to bring in the level of player that we want who can make a real push for 1st team football who may not have wanted to be seen as part of a reserve side."

First Team Manager Stuart Boardley said
“I believe the change is a really positive one for the club. It reinforces the message of progression and that there truly is a pathway right through from our junior section into our first team. Ultimately our vision of our U23 side is for it to be full of young, exciting and developing talent and this change, albeit just in name signifies those intentions. Both Andy and myself are looking forward to building on the close relationships we have developed with Ian (U23’s) and Craig/Aaron (U18’s) which can only aide the progression of our young players. Alongside the successful launch of our football Academy last year, there really is no better time to be a developing young player at F&WUFC."

Tam Ward, Junior Chairman added
“Focusing on the younger generation and giving a clearer and extended pathway to our up and coming players to the first team can only be a good thing for the Club and players alike.
This is again evidence that the club is together in its commitment to develop and promote where possible from within.
It is also great that we have held on to the services of Ian, who I feel is in the best position to see the transition through to its new form and beyond.
I personally look forward to the growth of the team in its own right and hope to see some breaking into the first team squad in the near future.”
Chris Daynes
Joint Chairman on behalf of the Board of Directors & Chairpersons  
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