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Academy newsletter - October 2020

14 October 2020

Read October's academy newsletter from our academy staff.

Firstly, can I welcome all of our players and parents to our academy.

We are functioning in difficult times at the moment and I cannot thank you all enough for your help and understanding in the current climate.

It is important that we are able to offer an opportunity for all of our local players to have a chance of representing Mansfield Town at all age levels. We want our academy to be the hub of the town and having your support is fully appreciated.

Our academy vision is to create an environment where all of our players can feel safe and enjoy their football. We are not only trying to develop them as young footballers but also enhance their life skills which will hopefully assist them in the future.

We are extremely proud to finally open our doors and get our academy up and running.

A lot of work has gone into the last 12 months in achieving our Category 3 status. We are still in the early stages of our Football Curriculum. Training will look different across the age groups. The training will be of multidisciplinary approach.

Our Phase Leads will explain in detail how their phase will operate and how your player will be managed.

Our first academy fixtures are due to commence from Sunday 11 October. The format normally consists of four matches at ‘home’ and four ‘away’ against the same professional counterpart.

We will have senior academy staff and age group coaches at both venues. We are expecting to have 25 EFL fixtures this season. We will have free Sundays where we will arrange bespoke matches or Continuous Professional Development events.

All dates will be communicated via the Phase Leads.

A medical provision will be in place for all academy training and matches. Hope to see you all soon.

Richard Cooper

Academy Manager

Foundation Phase – (U9s-U11s)

Firstly, I would like to thank every parent, carer and player for their flexibility and commitment since our return to football. 

We must continue working together to ensure our environment is a safe place for yourselves, your children and our staff. I am confident that you will have enjoyed watching your child back playing on the wonderful RH Academy facility.

The curriculum has been designed towards producing innovative, intelligent, problem-solvers. Our aim is to ensure every player is technically excellent and dominant in 1v1 situations.

The coaching staff have tasked players to ‘stay on the ball’, encouraging them to excite with the ball and ultimately, master the ball. The sessions and tasks have been skilfully designed to stretch the players’ development in the social, psychological, physical, technical and tactical corners.

Furthermore, it is important that the players receive a diverse curriculum, therefore we have implemented a multi-sport approach during our arrival activities, with Handball being introduced initially.

I have provided you all with the PMA details and I must stress the importance of completing the Covid-19 screening before arrival on site. The players will receive their individual learning plans in the near future and will also have their first six-week review, this will be completed through the PMA.

Our welcome to academy football has been the toughest one possible by competing against Category 1 academies. We have witnessed the standards of the opposition and we now begin the challenge to aspire to achieve these ourselves.

You have all received the fixtures for the 2020/21 season, we will aim to fill some of the free weeks to test ourselves against Category 1/2 academies where possible.

Collectively, we have made a great start to academy football and I look forward to us building momentum throughout the year.

Thank you for your continued support.

Jack Hawkins

Foundation Phase Lead

Youth Development Phase – (U12s-U16s)

Throughout the Youth Development phase our aim is to develop a challenging environment, but one where the players feel comfortable to go and express themselves.

We aim to have a large emphasis on the tactical side of the game, developing the players' knowledge both in and out of possession, plus developing their understanding in relation to the positions each individual plays, without disregarding the technical side.

This will be done in general group sessions, plus each player having his own Individual Learning Plan (I.L.P’s,) we focus on this by splitting the players up into small groups where they will be working with other players who have the same emphasis based on the positions they play.

We will also look to play players up and down age groups (Bio Banding) when we feel it suits. What we try to consider when doing so is players' physical development and how they are doing in their own particular age group before we try to create challenging situations for them.

It won't always be players playing up age groups, it may be occasionally play players down if we feel it's needed.

Throughout the Youth Development, the players will have bumps in the road based on physical development, education and football.

Our aim is to guide them through all of this by giving them support, taking away the pressure that’s naturally created by being in an elite environment and by doing so, hopefully they will always remember their time at Mansfield Town as an enjoyable experience.

Sam Collins

Youth Development Phase Lead

Safeguarding & Player Care

If any player or parent wishes to report, discuss, or clarify an issue or concern, please contact Mansfield Town academy designated safeguarding officer Neil Bainbridge on

Parent/guardian and player Zoom inductions and workshops will run throughout November (dates TBC) and continue throughout the season.

A polite reminder to parents/guardians/players that it is not permitted to post status/check-ins on social media relating to any club session/fixture/activity. Filming footage is not permitted at any session/fixture/activity.

In these challenging times, the club would like to place on record its appreciation of parents/guardians/players in their support of COVID guidelines being adhered to at RH Academy and at away fixtures.

If the QR Scans can continue to be utilised at all sessions/fixtures and social distancing guidelines observed at all times, it will give the club the very best chance of providing continuous football/activities to our young players without the need for interruption.

Kind regards,

Neil Bainbridge

Head of Operations

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