Player Development Programme targets grassroots level pathway to Academy with trials in August
The PDP, which replaces the old Player Development Centres, provides the first step on the ladder locally from grassroots level to the Town first-team.
Overseen completely by the Academy for the first time, a place on the PDP is gained through open trials which are being held in August throughout Suffolk.
The boys who have a successful trial are then invited onto the PDP, which sees youngsters coached for one hour sessions over 15 weeks by Town coaching staff.
The youngsters are assessed throughout the 15 weeks and those who display an ability to step up to the next level are given the opportunity to join the Elite squads.
The PDP course works out at just over £7 per session. Elite squad coaching is by invitation only and free. It provides the second step towards selection for Town’s Academy teams.
“The coaching the boys will receive on the PDP is in line with the programme at the Academy,” Town’s head of recruitment, Steve McGavin, told the Club website.
“It will be about the boys enjoying their football but also realising their potential.
“We are constantly on the lookout for talented young players and our PDP provides that first level on the Academy ladder.”
Teddy Bishop came through Town’s old PDC scheme before joining the Academy aged nine and progressing through all levels into the first-team.
England U17 international Ben Morris, who has recently signed a pro deal at Portman Road, first-team squad defender Joe Robinson and Academy graduate George Fowler have taken a similar path.
There are 11 PDP centres across nine venues throughout Suffolk, three of which are new to Town - Sudbury; Chelmsford and Newmarket. The others are Ipswich; Walsham le Willows; Lowestoft; Tiptree; Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds.
There are two block 15 week coaching sessions per season - August-December and January to May.
The Open trials are free and start from August 1, 2016 but you MUST book a trial place through Rick Boreham by emailing email@example.com or by calling (01473) 400506.
Full details of the dates of the trials, venues and the PDP programme can be found on www.itfcpdp.co.uk. There are only 12 places available per venue for each age group.
So if you reckon you have the new Teddy Bishop kicking a ball in your back garden, get in touch with Rick - quick!