Salford City has announced that from the 2019-20 season they will be running a Development Squad coached by former Manchester United coach Warren Joyce.
The aim of the squad is to help with the transition from Academy to First Team as the Ammies strive to provide a pathway for young players to become professional footballers.
With a carefully designed training programme and the opportunity to play regular games, the Development Squad will prepare players for if or when a call-up comes.
Ahead of their first season in the Football League, Director of Football at the club Chris Casper says this is an important but exciting addition.
“It’s the next part of the club, I’d say it’s kind of a bridging squad between the Academy and the First Team so lads who have come through the Academy, they’ve got a place and a time that they can develop.
“That’s the vision of the club moving forward, to develop our own players as much as possible, give them an opportunity. That’s the way the club’s set up, and this is the next part of being able to do that.
“It was spoken about when I came in two-and-a-half years ago, so once the lads have gone through a scholarship of two years, the better ones had to have a team and a squad to develop in basically, as the name suggests.
“Are they good enough to go straight into the first team? Possibly, possibly not, but they need an opportunity and a place where they can develop and are given time because that’s the important thing.
“We really believe in our young players, we want to develop our young players, so this gives us an opportunity to do that.”
Former Manchester United reserves manager Joyce, 54, joins us after spells as manager of Wigan Athletic and Melbourne City.
Oldham born Joyce played as a midfielder for the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End, Burnley and Hull City, where his first managerial job came as a player-manager in 1998. He joined Manchester United in 2008 after two years in charge at Royal Antwerp, and in eight years he achieved great success in bringing players from the Youth to the First Team.
Now the prospect of a new challenge with Salford was too good for Joyce to ignore.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge, a different challenge and relishing the opportunity to work here!
“Obviously you’re starting off afresh, it’s a different challenge to be starting off with near enough a blank piece of paper.
“The club, the management and the owners have done fantastically well in the last few years to get to where they’ve got and they don’t want to stop here, and part of it is providing pathways for young players to come through, and local kids to get through to the first team.
“I’ve enjoyed that aspect over a number of years and I’m looking forward to helping people maximise their talent.”
Everyone at the club would like to welcome Warren, and we wish you a successful stay here with us!