Nine promising academy students represented Needham Market FC during the FA Trophy shock last Saturday to make club history and gain a place in the fifth round against Dartford.
On Saturday 15th January, Needham Market shocked the football community and secured the biggest win in club history after beating Yeovil Town 8-7 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in their FA Trophy Fourth Round clash at Huish Park.
The Market Men squad involved nine current and graduate academy students, including 17-year-old first year, Taylor Clark who made the starting XI.
Kevin Horlock, Academy Manager & First Team Manager believes the academy has an “unbelievable” setup and says it’s day-to-day coaching gives already talented students the platform to grow.
He said: “They have all worked hard and proved they are ready for the opportunities like this. I think it is important to put trust in them no matter how big a game is and give them the confidence to go out and be themselves.”
Learning is all part of the experience as Horlock continues: “They’re young, still learning the game but it’s important for them to take responsibility for their own performances. I let them know that it’s ok to make mistakes because that way they play with freedom and not in fear. This enables them to express themselves and continue to develop like they have to get to this point.”
“We are really proud of how they have performed and hopefully it shows our current students and future students that the pathway to our first team is there and always will be.”
Robert Peace, Academy & Operations Director said: “It has always been important to install the pathway from the academy to our first team. There is a collective approach from all staff to provide an environment that best enhances an individual's skills and talents, whether that be in the classroom or the football pitch. Kevin and his coaching team enrich the players with the confidence to challenge themselves, make mistakes and succeed to help reach their potential.”
Needham Market Academy is holding an open event on Monday 31st January for students currently studying in years 10, 11 & 12. The open event held at Bloomfields will give potential students the opportunity to train under the academy & first-team manager Kevin Horlock. For more information and to register, click here.