Chesterfield United announces partnership with Sheffield Wednesday North American Academy
“Since stepping into my new role as Academy manager at SWFC I am very excited to hear about the relationship we have in place with Global Image Sports to help us develop strong relationships with partner clubs across North America,” Sheffield Wednesday academy manager Dean Ramsdale said in a news release. “I look forward to working closely with our partners to maximize the benefits for both parties as this is a project that SWFC and myself are determined to make a long term success.”
Chesterfield United’s partnership with the Owls’ academy will allow coaches and players the opportunity to work with the academy coaches of Sheffield Wednesday in both North America and the UK, offering an insight into the player development program of the Owls’ youth setup.
“We are very excited about beginning this partnership with such a prestigious and historic club like Sheffield Wednesday,” said CUFC director of player development Matt Lacey. “A major factor in partnering with Sheffield Wednesday was the eagerness of their academy director to use these partnerships in the United States as grounds for identifying players for Sheffield Wednesday. This in my mind has set a new challenge for our players at the club to aim beyond college soccer and into the professional game at the highest level.”
Another vital part of the partnership is that Sheffield Wednesday North American Academy will be hosting a series of Elite Player ID Events with its partner clubs during 2012-13, culminating in the SWFC National Camp where players will have the opportunity to showcase their abilities in front of the Sheffield Wednesday Academy staff.
“Being a PUMA Club, Sheffield Wednesday definitely appealed to us when we were looking for a partner,” said CUFC technical director Pat McStay. “They have similar goals with their youth, a great structure, and we hope to work closely with them in the future. Being one of the first clubs to sign with them has granted us even more access, and Matt and I look forward to meeting with them when we take six of our players over to England in April.”
Chesterfield United has about 2,000 players from the central Virginia area from ages four through 18 in its youth soccer club, with 37 travel teams (26 boys’ and 11 girls’–450 players) as well as 10 United development teams. The club’s academy teams play in the Atlantic Soccer League.