All looks bright as Hucknall Town build for the future

Hucknall Town celebrate their title.
Hucknall Town celebrate their title.

After promotion and with a new ground on the way, Hucknall Town’s future looks even brighter with the launch of their new development squad side to replace their reserves.

Hoping to develop their own players for the future, the Yellows have created the new side as a stepping stone to the first team for talented youngsters and this week announced it will be run by a joint management team of Kev Randall and Rob Woolridge, backed up by coaches Josh Henry and Simon Weatherall.

Randall has managed the Hucknall Town Sunday team to considerable success, especially last season when they win the Notts FA Senior Sunday Trophy.

He also has experience in developing good young players, having been successful with the development academy at Carlton Town.

Rob Wooldridge joins the club after success at Basford United, guiding the U16s to the Notts Youth League Division One Championship last season.

“We are building, putting the foundations in, and getting the club moving forward at the pace it can financially move at, which is the critical thing,” said manager Andy Graves.

“We won’t be stupid. But we are all excited about it.

“We want to develop our own players if we can for the first team. I am not scared putting youngsters in if they are good enough.

“They will probably have a better opportunity with us than many other clubs to play at a higher level.

“They are joining as part of the football club so we are not taking subs off them.

“They won’t have to pay any money to play for Hucknall Town.

“A lot of clubs set up academies and they are basically a revenue stream for the first team. We are not working like that here.”

The move had certainly stirred interest, and Graves said: “We had a meeting last night with the parents of the lads who have been playing with Rob. We have a nucleus of young lads and we’ll need a few old heads in there as well, which we have too.

“Since it went on social media the other night we have been approached by several players very interested in coming along to the first session to see what it’s all about, so it’s quite exciting.”

The club will also further develop their links with local junior club Hucknall Warriors.

“We also have the link-up with Hucknall Warriors which we will continue to forge. It’s something we want to strengthen and build on from last season,” said Graves.

“Bringing this development squad in is going to help their oldest lads that would be looking for a team to go to. They can make that transition into our development squad, which is beneficial to both parties.

“There will be no pressure on them. They can enjoy their football and develop in this environment. We are not expecting them to go out and win everything – it’s all about player development.”

Josh Henry and Simon Weatherall are no strangers to the Hucknall Town.

Henry was part of their successful League Cup-winning side and his expert knowledge on nutrition and fitness, should prove invaluable.

Weatherall worked alongside Darren Jubb with last season’s reserves and his knowledge and experience should also be invaluable to the new management.

Any 16, 17 or 18-year-olds looking to play at a good standard and develop their football within a successful and well run step 6 club are invited to attend the first pre-season session at the club’s Watnall Road ground on Wednesday 26th June (7pm, NG15 6EY) or email to register your interest.