Cannons In The Community - The Next Stage

Hythe Town FC are delighted to formally announce details of their new Under 21 development squad, to be in place for the 2015/16 season.

This exciting next stage of the ‘Cannons In The Community’ project was first outlined by 1st Team Manager, Tim Dixon and his Assistant, Darren Beale when they interviewed for their positions at the club just over a year ago.

Everybody involved at Reachfields and the Hythe Stars & Stripes youth set-up have identified the need for the two clubs to work even more closely on the jointly-run Under 18s side, along with the need for the reintroduction of a set-up that supports the development of Under 21s football and the progression from youth to senior football in Hythe.


Hythe Town FC Chairman, John Dowsett commented – “It's vitally important to have a structure in place to enable the talent within Hythe Stars & Stripes to continue their football education under the Hythe Town FC umbrella, so as to smooth their transition to first team football and hopefully become the stars of the future.”

The side itself will initially only play friendlies, against other like-minded clubs, with academy or reserve sides of a similar age, there is also the potential to play clubs from below the Ryman South in the football pyramid.

Talking at the recent ‘Meet the Manager’ supporters’ evening, Assistant Manager, Darren Beale said – “As a club we need to compete alongside the other clubs who have Under 21s and academies as well as scholarship schemes. The development squad is just the start of bridging the gap between the Under 18s and the 1st Team.”

He continued - “More progression is needed for the Under 21 age group. The new side will be a mixture of current or previous Under 18s players, triallists and members of the 1st Team squad in rehabilitation from injury.”

Club Secretary, Martin Giles said – “The club originally ran a reserve side but as well as the extra pitch wear we did not feel that we were getting any value for the money we were spending on it.

Now, for the first time we have got a very promising bunch of youngsters, many of whom have come through the Stars & Stripes set-up, and some of whom are either now over-age, or not quite ready for adult football.

These players can now feature in the new development squad, whilst at the same time the club gets to do a bit of fact-finding without jumping head first into a new league. If it works, great, but if there are problems we will have the time to address them in our own time and in our own way.”

Another development within the Under 18s set-up is Roy Guiver stepping aside as Manager to be replaced by Marcel Nimani. The new man in charge for the Under 18s is a qualified FA Licensed coach, currently working towards his UEFA B license. By day he is a secondary school PE teacher and is also involved at the ‘Marsh Academy’.

Marcel said – “I’m really excited about the season ahead, we have had 40 players at our open trials, all from local areas, which is just what we want.”


This coming season there will also be an increase in the crossover between the management teams, with the Under 18s and 1st Team coaching set-ups both looking to work with each other's squads in training and on match days, as well as their new joint interest in the Under 21s.

Hythe Stars & Stripes Chairman, Paul Carney said – “We are delighted with the new coaching arrangements for our Under 18 teams. The closer alignment with the Hythe Town management team will enable us to develop even more players with the potential to play for the 1st Team. 

The new development squad is an excellent opportunity to provide that extra experience of senior football that some of our players need to make that transition. 

As a club we are going from strength to strength and next season we will have more players in more teams than ever before. This will include, for the first time, two Under 18 teams, so that the chances of retaining our most talented players as they make the transition into senior football will be enhanced. 

Our ambition is that one day, our local team will be full of players who have progressed through the ranks of Hythe Stars & Stripes. These new arrangements make that a possibility.

Check back to the website before and after the new season starts for coverage of the Under 21s and Under 18s, in particular information on where both sides will play each of their fixtures, as this will vary depending on pitch availability.

Follow the new Hythe Town Under 18s Twitter Feed


Visit Hythe Stars & Stripes FC Website

Originally Published - 27/06/15