The Board of Chester Football Club would like to take this opportunity to respond to recent social media speculation regarding the future of the Youth Section.
Youth development at Chester FC is viewed as an crucial element of the infrastructure at the club.
The decision to move to a full time first team playing squad and the limited resources available to us to remain in a sustainable financial position, will mean greater reliance on the development of players from within our own structure. Youth development is therefore key to our future and not an option.
Clearly, the loss of Mark Howell and Bernard Concannon who recently resigned from their positions as senior leaders in the youth section was a serious setback. We will remain in their debt for their outstanding voluntary contribution over the last four years.
It is also recognised that there are timing concerns regarding preparation for the coming season. This is regrettable, however there are some urgent matters that need addressing before we can move forward with replacements for Mark and Bernard or to recommend a revised structure that will compliment the development of our existing voluntary coaching staff.
Steve Burr is anxious to make a significant contribution to the development of the Youth Section as is John McCarthy in his role as CEO of the Community Trust. Both Steve and Jon will therefore play a major collaborative role in the development of the strategy for the Youth Section, as will Calvin Hughes as the Head of the Youth Academy.
We will also be taking the opportunity to apply some recommendations that resulted from a recently completed review of the Youth Section by two members of the Governance Work Group. This will include changes in process that will result in greater transparency and communication between the Youth Section and the Board going forward.
Further communications to members on this matter will follow.