Otters to run Under-25 side next season to complement current senior set-up

PUBLISHED: 08:28 25 January 2019 | UPDATED: 08:28 25 January 2019

Archant

Ottery St Mary are to run an Under-25 side in next season’s Macron Devon and Exeter League.

The creation of an Under-25s team is clearly something that is required in terms of helping the Otters onwards and upwards in the football pyramid.

Otters boss Dave Fairweather explained the move saying: “At the moment we run the one men’s senior team and have also an Under-18 side, but what we need is that additional team that will allow more of the squad to get regular action, which something a one-team system does not provide.”

He continued: “In the Premier League we have seen, in recent years, the growth of Under-23 football and it’s along those line that we are thinking.

“We want to attract a good blend of talented youngsters at the club and we have had some success of that already. The advent of this new team will hopefully allow us to increase the senior squad numbers.

“At the moment, with around 20 players all champing at the bit to be involved – when all are fit and available – we can only accommodate 14 or so of them on a matchday and if we are running an Under-25s then we are providing a new stage for the lads who come out of Under-18 football and are ‘not quite ready’ for the rigours of senior football, while also providing football for the wider squad. I see it very much as a team to complement what we already have in place at Washbrook Meadow.”

Fairweather is very specific as to who he sees running the new team.

He explained saying: “It is so important that we bring in the ‘right person’ or ‘persons’.

“By that, I mean we really do not want to fall into the trap, which I know blights a lot of clubs, where a second team is seen as just that – a second team at a club and not a reserve team with a primary function to support the first team!”

He continued: “What we are looking for are like-minded coaches to come and join our current coaching management set-up so we are all singing from the same hymn sheet. It can be done, and we intend to make it happen.”

Anyone interested in applying for a coaching position with the Otters – and a number of people, have already come forward – is asked to contact the club via their Facebook page.

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