Wiltshire Publications

Westbury United paves the way for future stars with new youth setup

WESTBURY United has launched a new youth setup this season as a way to create a path to the first team for young players – something the club has never done before. 

The club currently has an u11s team and an u12s team and is in the process of setting up an u15s team, but the head of Westbury United Youth, Phil Hampson, has plans to expand the age groups so there are youth teams all the way from u7s to u18s, that will directly feed into the first team in the future. 

Phil, who has previously played for United said, “The success Westbury United has seen in recent years, such as being promoted to the Southern League in 2022, is astonishing really and it has come sooner than I think most of us expected, but as part of this success, we need the rest of the club to catch up to the first team.  

“With this in mind, I spoke to the club at the start of the season to see if I can organise the youth setup as Westbury has never had a true path from youth football to the first team. 

“We are now setting up a system so players can rise through the ranks all the way from u7s to u18s and then to reserve team football and then finally the first team. This will mean that in the future, the managers will be able to look at the youth set-up to see if there are any rising stars – which although this is commonplace in football, it has never happened in Westbury. 

“We’re setting up an organisation that does things in the correct way, with class, professionalism and the club’s interest at heart – this isn’t about just having a youth club for kids, this is about developing kids with the right mindset to succeed and play a good level of football. 

“Of course, the kids are going to have loads of fun while they do it, but we also want to encourage great discipline as that is a massive part of sport and life and we think we can help develop kids into decent young men and women. 

“Success in football isn’t determined by how good you are with a ball – you also have to factor in how you can apply yourself, how you interact with other people and how you develop your attitude to the game. We try to make things as basic as possible for the kids, so they can take the information on board and apply it to their game.  

“We want the club’s ethos to trickle down through the teams and so everything is the same, which means everyone at every level wears the same training and match-day kits and we’ve invested heavily so the players have premier league-quality training goal posts, footballs and other equipment, so we can give them the best possible kick-off with their progression at the club. 

“I’ve put my whole life into this since it first started and I’m determined to see it be a success – I’m loving every minute of it so far and it’s clear that the kids are enjoying what they’re doing! I have to say a massive thank you to Jim Pickernell who has been invaluable in his support. Jim is the u12s’ manager and he’s been with me every step of the way.  

“We’re hoping that our passion for the game, along with our determination to support young players, will mean that Westbury United can cement itself as a really serious local football club as it moves up the leagues, with a fantastic youth set-up to support the first team. I can’t wait for the day when I see one of my players step out at Meadow Lane to play for the first team – that’s what we are working for!” 

Get involved

Westbury United Youth holds open training sessions at Meadow Lane each Thursday from 6pm to 7pm and local children are being encouraged to come to a session to get a taster of what is on offer.  

Phil added, “We are always on the look-out for more players! We hold open training sessions which are an opportunity to experience what we’re about and play under the floodlights at Meadow Lane – everyone is more than welcome to come along.” 

To stay up to date with these sessions or if you require more information, visit Westbury United’s Facebook page.

Sponsors welcome

Westbury United Youth is also appealing for any local companies that want to sponsor the teams. To get in contact with the club, visit Westbury United’s Facebook page or their website at www.westburyunited.co.uk

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