RUGBY TOWN: Butlin Road Youth Team finding their feet under new management

Rugby Towns 2017/18 youth squad at Butlin Road with Dave Orton from sponsors Stanair (far left) and team manager Josh Hearne-Wilkins (far right)
Rugby Towns 2017/18 youth squad at Butlin Road with Dave Orton from sponsors Stanair (far left) and team manager Josh Hearne-Wilkins (far right)

Club grateful to sponsors for support as performances and results improve

It has been a testing start for Rugby Town’s Youth new management team of Joshua Hearne-Wilkins and Daryl Amankwah at Butlin Road, after they took over the reins of the side from Dan Gibson in the summer.

Despite failing to register a victory so far in the Midland Floodlit Youth League Premier Division South, recent performances and results have been much improved and hopes are high that the team can continue its impressive record of producing players that go on to play at high levels of the senior game.

Valley’s starting line-up for last Saturday’s FA Vase tie against Harrowby included four players who have previously featured for the club’s youth team – with David Kolodynski, Harry Holloway, Sean Castleton and Brad Harris all having been part of the set-up over the past decade.

With the valuable sponsorship and support of Great Central Way-based industrial door services specialists Stanair, the team is undergoing a transitional year under the stewardship of ex-Stratford youth team boss Hearne-Wilkins, with Town Director Mike Yeats praising the progress made to-date.

He said: “It was always going to be a challenging task to put together a squad to compete in this league, especially as we were left with just three players meeting the qualifying age from the previous campaign.

“However Josh and Daryl have gone about the job very professionally and are working very hard to develop a group of players who are often up against clubs with full-time academies and extensive junior team structures behind them.”

Rugby’s only league point came in a 2-2 home draw with Lye at the end of last month, but they have since gone on to put a creditable performance at title challengers Hereford in a 2-0 defeat and also recently narrowly exited the County Cup on penalties against Coventry Sphinx.

With games coming up against two other clubs within touching distance of them in the league table – Worcester and Redditch, there is a potential opportunity for Valley to make some progress up the division.

Yates concluded: “The Board of Directors look forward to the continued improvement of the side over the coming weeks, and we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Martin Wall and Simon Barnicoat at Stanair for their contribution to this project.”