Rainworth MW FC are set to embark on an exciting new venture with the introduction of their new Rainworth Scholarship Programme.
The Evo-Stik Northern Premier League club’s proposed new scheme is intended to provide youngsters aged 16-18 with the opportunity to gain an educational qualification while at the same time undergoing football coaching, all tutored in-house.
And the hope is that the spin-off will be a stable future for the club which will become self-sustaining, so that the scholars will eventually form the bulk of a Rainworth first team containing largely local talent.
New Wrens boss Scott Rickards and Mansfield Town’s promotion-winning captain last season, Adam Murray, are the driving forces behind the new venture, which has the blessing of Rainworth chairman Mark Hawkins.
And the pair are keen to get the scheme up and running as soon as possible.
But Rickards stresses that the new Wrens venture will not clash with or undermine what is already going on at the One Call Stadium.
Rickards explained: “We are looking to provide an opportunity for lads of the relevant age group to come on board, study for a college qualification, and, in conjunction with that, undergo football coaching by full-time professional coaches (Adam Murray and Scott Rickards themselves), which will involve training alongside Rainworth’s first team as well as playing a competitive match each week.
“So any player who doesn’t make it into first team football, with Rainworth or at a higher level, will still have a valuable qualification to take away with them at the end of their course.
“The scheme is modelled on those run by full-time clubs including the Stags.
“What we are doing in no way seeks to threaten or compete with what is happening elsewhere, but we are aiming to mirror the success of schemes such as Mansfield’s at our own level.
“Youth development has to be a major part of the long term future of clubs of our league status, and this is probably the most far-reaching move that the club has ever embarked upon.”
The Wrens are hoping to have the new scheme up and running by the end of the current year, and with that end in view they are staging an open day at the ground on Sunday week, 20th October from 10.30am, when any prospective students can turn up, find out more, meet Murray and Rickards themselves, and take a trial/taster.
There is no charge for anyone attending the event.
However, those intending to take part are asked to make contact by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 07974052523, so that the coaches will have some idea of the potential numerical take-up.