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Player Development Centres Close
Player Development Centres Close
Friday, 30th Aug 2013 14:57

The Player Development Centres for youngsters aged seven to 16 run by the ITFC Charitable Trust have closed.

The PDCs - which replaced the previous Advanced Coaching Programme in 2008 - were an Ipswich and Bury-based invitation-only scheme designed to provide weekly advanced coaching for the best young footballers in Suffolk who weren't in an academy set-up.

Parents received letters telling them that the centres were closing last week and in some cases have reacted angrily to the surprise announcement on the Trust’s Facebook page.

It is thought that the club will look to revive a coaching programme for younger players as they make the move to academy Category One ahead of the 2014/15 season, although it's believed that no firm plans are yet in place.

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SouperJim added 15:54 - Aug 30
Hello 300 eager PDC children, btw we're closing next week, feck you very much.

I like how the Trust are trying to deflect criticism on their facebook page by encouraging people to phone in. Welcome to free speech and the internet, if you treat people like turd, you're going to know about it.

Bluetone added 16:09 - Aug 30
Many potential future season ticket holders and maybe a couple of future Town players cut adrift.
How short sighted is that?

KellysBlues added 16:50 - Aug 30
I'll think you will find that the PDC has been taken on by the academy and the "ITFC Charitable trust" has been more or less completely isolated by ITFC Football club. i heard that long term coaching staff had recently been laid off and the up take of the summer schools and weekly hourly coaching sessions that he Charitable trust ran/offered has been poor.

with ITFC going for cat 1 status they had to encompass the PDC... Is what i believe has happened. Its not just the Children who have been let down, i hear a lot of the coaches have too.

h32 added 17:09 - Aug 30
...... instability running thro' everything connected to the Club right now - I'm not sure there is a single member of staff who feels secure, or know where they stand. Not good that.

ChayITFC added 18:27 - Aug 30
I have just gone to Holland with the PDC team and there was no indication that the PDC was shutting down as a Goalkeeper there is very little training avalible for me now. I have improved so much. Thanks to all the coaches at ITFC. How can you get into the academy straight from Sunday league?

h32 added 18:55 - Aug 30
ChayITFC - genuinely feel for you and all others in the same situation - just hope that the Club provides the same opportunity for you in some other way.

ITFC is no longer (sadly) the Family caring Club it once was - this decision proves that beyond any reasonable doubt.
Unfortunately none of it - is what it once PROUDLY was.

Best wishes and Good Luck with your game.

Bluetone added 19:32 - Aug 30
The club is either in tumult or transition which only time will tell.

Warkystache added 19:33 - Aug 30
Absolutely ridiculous, short-sighted, delusional and crass decision. Do the powers that be actually WANT a decent football team? Or are they more bothered about safeguarding the few assets we have?

This club has been retrograde under the current owner. Sad state of affairs.

Talbs77 added 19:41 - Aug 30
So this is the club becoming integral to the local community, don't believe a word of the crap coming out of the club these days, I see they weren't announcing this to a big fan fair!

Flys in the face of the club returning to it's "family values", at the end of the day it seems if there isn't money to be made, their not interested, short sighted and another pr disaster for the club.

HARRY10 added 22:20 - Aug 30
Another sign of the times I'm afraid. As with getting Alan Lee to register as a player.

Sadly the long term implications of this will only be felt further down the line, as we are now seeing, with virtually no youngsters making the step up to the first team.

When it was said a couple of months back that we would be spending NO money on transfer fees there was the usual howls of denial, from the usual suspects. Any talk appears to be about who might leave, not anyone coming in.

If we are to go through the season on a shoestring with a threadbare squad made up of discards and freebies then at least let us have some believe that we are planning for the future. A hoped for academy based on donations from fans is not the answer either.

A sorry state of affairs that just seems to get worse by the month.


SouperJim added 23:01 - Aug 30
Got to say Harry you're way off the mark there. What this story has to do with Alan Lee god only knows, that's a playing decision made by the manager and has little to do with the PDC situation.

Virtually no youngsters making the step up to the first team? How about Tommy Smith, Luke Hyam, Tom Winter, Byron Lawrence, Kyle Hammond, Jack Marriott, David October and Mark Timlin?

Of course there is a link between the academy setup and the sustainability of the football club, but PDCs have little impact. It's not the playing side of the club which is going to suffer from this decision, it's the wider football community which surrounds it.

h32 added 23:07 - Aug 30
....... good post HARRY10.
Alyjough I see no problem with Lee registering as a player - wouldn't bet on it being productive tho'.

h32 added 23:09 - Aug 30
........ * although - should have read.

neil1968 added 11:05 - Aug 31
Apparently the youth level will probably have to continue but thru the club rather than the trust as part of being a professional football team and a member of the FA there is a rule that coaching must be offered at youth level . So we shall see .

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