Friday 10th July saw the launch of Merthyr Town FC Academy's partnership with Swansea City to help develop young players and coaches.
The link-up will see Swansea City work in conjunction with staff at the Southern Football League Premier Division side to co-ordinate the running of a development centre, helping to train the next generation of footballers in the south Wales Valleys area.
Coaches from Swans Academy will support the delivery of two training sessions per week, using the indoor facilities at Merthyr College to train children at an under 5 to under 8 level, with players between 9 and 16 being developed on the 3G pitch at Penydarren Park.
Swans Academy Manager, Nigel Rees believes the development partnership is an excellent opportunity to strengthen and support youth football in South Wales.
“Areas like Merthyr have an abundance of talent.” He said.
“We hope this partnership can help develop more young players who will hopefully go on to have a career in football with the ultimate goal of playing at a professional level.
“We want to support Academies, like Merthyr and develop their coaching programme in line with the Swansea way.
“The enthusiasm for this partnership is clear to see at Merthyr Town, we have had a very warm welcome from players, staff and parents.”
Rob Price, Chief Executive at Merthyr Town called the announcement an exciting prospect for everyone involved with the club.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for our academy and for children in the area to develop their football skills with coaches from Swansea City.” He said.
“I believe the knowledge of Swansea City’s coaches combined with the expertise of their playing programme will help us develop into an elite Academy.
“The dream for any young footballer is to play at the highest level in the Premier League.
“Merthyr now has a link with a Premier League football club, which will help attract more young players into our Academy and give them a chance to make at the highest level of the game.”