Bromley Football Club confirm they will field an Under 23s professional development squad from the 2018-19 season.

The Ravens have confirmed their intentions to put together a squad featuring young professionals at the Club, a concept that is to be driven by 1st Team Manager, Neil Smith and Academy Director, Mark Hammond. The initiative will also be hugely supported by the Board Directors. Whilst there is no formal competition structure in place as yet, there is said to be at least eight teams interested in joining a new national competition.

Club Chairman Jerry Dolke said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to get the right playing foundations in place for our up and coming young professional players. The National League is very competitive and becoming stronger year-by-year, so it’s in our best interests that we can develop home grown talent and bring them through.

Danny Mills, who will take on the role as Head of Player Development from 2018-19 stated:

“A Bromley Football Club reserve team in a competitive league would offer that platform for our Academy players to play at a more senior level and gives the likes of Spencer Cripps, Harry Smith, Scott Jarvis, Rodney Erouter, Aiden Enver, Riphi Kalala and many more the chance to play regularly, at a strong standard, which will help mature and develop their talents. Part of this strategy will be to deploy the professional development squad players on loan to lower non league teams. This will help them gain mens football experience so that, when the time comes, they are ready for the step-up.

“Our young players in the Academy and reserve team will be available to play for their respective squads during the week and then represent their potential loan clubs, with a clear allegiance to Bromley Football Club, ensuring they don’t lose their identity as Bromley Football Club players as they progress through the season.

“The Professional Development Squad will play fixtures against premiership and football league teams helping the players gain recognition and if there’s interest then we can potentially sell them before they get to the 1st team squad. With matches of this nature being played on a regular basis, it should improve the competitive environment in which young players can progress.”

Neil Smith further added:

“The Professional Development Squad will look to harness many of the old school reserve team values along with offering a senior outlook on the game. The reserve team squads will be made up of 1st team players who need game time, professional development players who are working towards getting into the 1st team and Academy players who can mature whilst playing with senior players.

“We successfully employed this strategy with Jordan Higgs, who is now an established 1st team regular and is being coveted by many football league teams.”

Academy Director Mark Hammond highlighted:

“The gap between Academy level and 1st team is a big jump. As a Club we don’t want to be failing these young players by raising their expectations and aspirations and then not being able to offer the extra year or two that many young talented players need to develop. It is essential that we can provide them with a chance to develop to 1st team level. This will also offer an extension to the Academy player qualification pathway – Year 14 students can gain a wider range of vocational qualifications whilst studying at The Ravensbourne School and Bromley Football Club.”

The Bromley Football Club Professional Development Squad trials will be held on Saturday 23rd June.

If you are a Year 14 student from September 2018 (this means if you have just completed Year 13 at another football programme or secondary sixth form) please apply using the form below.

If you are between 19 and 23 and have played professionally and been released or are currently playing semi-professional level, please send a playing C.V. and contact: danny@bromleyfc.co.uk

If your application is successful we will respond with the full trial details. If your application is unsuccessful then we wish you all the best with your future in football.

Under 23s Development Squad trials

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