Dorset FA Boys Player Development Centre Statement
Following a recent review by the Board of Directors and changes to National Strategy and funding, it is with regret that after six seasons the Dorset FA Boys Player Development Centre (PDC) will no longer operate.
The primary aim of the centre when established was to develop better players to feed into the County Under-18 representative and ultimately increase the counties success in the FA Counties Youth Cup. This aim has not be achieved, to the extent that the County were unable to field eleven players in a fixture last season with a diminished appetite and commitment by players for representative football at this age group.
The Centre itself operated on an FA License and grant, awarded to the County on the basis that there was no professional club within the County FA border. However, it has been recently been confirmed that neither the grant nor licence will be available beyond this season. Despite technically not having a professional club in the County FA boundary, there is within the main County border and other club’s operating provisions within the County.
As such, there are a number of boy’s talent pathway opportunities available from local professional clubs such as AFC Bournemouth who operate an ID Centre in addition to their academy, Yeovil Town FC and Exeter City FC who operate development centres within the County.
Dorset FA remain committed to supporting the development of talent player’s within the County and will be working with these professional club’s to provide opportunities for talented player’s to progress up the boy’s talent pathway. In addition, there will be continued investment into grassroots clubs to increase the quality of provision, through the new FA Coach Educator and FA Club Mentoring programme amongst other areas.
Dorset County FA would like to thank all of the player’s, parents and staff who have supported the centre over the past six seasons.