A Stonehaven amateur football club has created a new youth academy scheme aimed at also benefitting the local community.
Ronnie Kelman and Graham Wark will be leading the AC Mill Inn Academy, with plans to join the Junior ranks.
Steven J. Innes, the club’s secretary, said: “AC Mill Inn is proud and excited to announce the creation of its new youth academy scheme.
“The club has been keen to develop its own players for some time.
‘‘It aspires to put out a team of local players in the future so, with the plans for the new 3G pitch now agreed, we felt that this was the perfect moment to move forward with youth football.
‘‘Our academy will also help fulfil the club’s ambition to join the Junior ranks by providing a great infrastructure and pathway for young players.”
This will be no ordinary youth section as the AC Mill Inn committee has a vision which not only includes producing good adult players, it also wants to support the development of young people into adulthood.
Steven added: “A successful football club must contribute to the community from which it comes, it has a duty to put something back and we all feel the club can do this by ensuring our young players understand the importance of being good people as much as good players.”
AC Mill Inn has also announced the academy’s management team.
Steven said: “We are delighted to have Ronnie Kelman and Graham Wark leading the academy.
Ronnie is born and bred in Stonehaven, an oil and gas executive, local charity fundraiser and has been involved with development football for a number of years.
“Graham has had a lengthy involvement in football: he was a schoolboy internationalist and also a student internationalist for Scotland and GB, played Senior football in the UK, Brazil and Canada, is the head of sport in Dundee, was with the SFA party on last year’s UEFA Study Visit to Switzerland, is a driving force behind Stonehaven’s 3G pitch development and has a very successful coaching record spanning 35 years.
“They have developed ambitious plans for the academy which will not only benefit AC Mill Inn and the youth players involved but Stonehaven and its sporting community.
“Ronnie and Graham have also agreed to help establish a veterans’ team which will further enhance the community aspects of the club.
This is a really exciting time for AC Mill Inn and sport in Stonehaven. We have our end of season barbecue - including matches involving all our players - on June 20 at Mineralwell Park from 6.45pm.”
Key features of the academy are the promotion of health and well-being, citizenship, fairness, compassion and integrity for young people joining the club. The project will be developed in stages over a 4 year period to ensure longevity and sustainability.
All young people are welcome to join and there will be two player categories: Club Player, where players participate in all training and social events; and League Player which also has the player registered for league matches.
Ronnie and Graham will be delighted to hear from any young person who wishes to play or become involved in football, any parent wanting to know a bit more about the AC Mill Inn Academy project and anyone else who is interested in what the Club is trying to achieve.