However, Youth boss Gary Goodchild has seen his lads called upon to play several Reserve Team fixtures which resulted in some of his small squad playing two or three times a week. The long and tough season has been hard on the young players but there have been some high spots for the Youth set-up with Roger Johnson and Leeyon Phelan appearing for the First Team.
The 2000/2001 also saw former Youth Team player Ben Townsend feature prominently in the First Team's FA Cup run. 19 year old Townsend played in 15 First Team games and writing in his programme notes, Goodchild commented "To have played in such high profile games as Leicester and Liverpool at Villa Park at only nineteen is a wonderful experience" The Youth Team boss added "All of our boys attended the quarter and semi-finals together as we felt it was part of their football education and can only inspire them to want to be professionals"
For Goodchild and Youth Development Officer Adrian Cole it's now a case of looking forward to next season and they've added six more youngsters to the Wanderers Scholarship scheme. The new First Years are Tom Gott (goalkeeper), Stuart Hole (defender), midfielders Mark Philo, Matt Warner and John-Paul Kelly plus striker Billy Harding. Those additions will take the squad up to seventeen as they join existing Second Years; Lewis Cook, Jonny Dixon, Pat Lynott, Ryan Parsons, Jack Smillie and Kai Sudheimer and Third Years; Roger Johnson, Marc Leach, Leeyon Phelan, Ian Simpemba and Steve Williams.
New First Year scholar Stuart Hole has been with the Wanderers Centre of Excellence since 1997 when he started playing in the Under 13's side. He's described by Adrian Cole as a "very versatile player who can play either at centre-back or upfront, where he proved he could score goals on our under 17's"
The Servis Pak Centre of Excellence Player of the Season was central midfielder Matty Fox. Fox has been with The Wanderers since he was ten.
Striker Leeyon Phelan won the Walters Group Youth Team Player of the Year award after topping the scoring charts for the Youth Team for the second season running. Leeyon also finished as top scorer for the Reserves as well as making his First Team debut when he came on as substitute against Stoke City in March 2001. Further First Team opportunities cannot be far faraway for Phelan.
Former Marlow left-back Ryan Parsons became the first winner of the Alan Henry Gillott Memorial Award for the First Year Scholar of the Season. The late Mr Gillott also left funds to be used to purchase a state of the art digital video camera to record youth games and training sessions to further help the development of the Wanderers up and coming youngsters.
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The Wanderers Youth Team play their home League games at Molins Sports Ground in Princes Risborough. Admission is FREE and a programme is produced for all Under 19 fixtures.
The programme won the Wirral Programme Club Youth Team Programme of the Season for 1999/2000.
CLICK HERE FOR FIXTURES AND RESULTS 2000/2001>>>
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