A lot has been said about Plymouth Parkway this season after the merger with Bar Sol Ona, the Chairman’s ambitions of promotion, and even some high profile names such as Paul Sturrock joining the club, however something that has slipped below the radar is the clubs commitment to developing young footballers of the future.
The club have increased their ranks at a junior level with 2 under 10’s sides and an under 12’s side. This season also see’s the club return to the under 18’s league with Ged King managing a side mainly made up of 16 year olds. The reserve side, playing in the East Cornwall league also boast 6 under 18 players in the squad, with a lot of the focus on developing these players through to be competitive at Mens football.
This past weekend is a shining example of how the club plan to move this forward. Last Tuesday, reserve player Dan Tate (pictured above, in action) celebrated his 18th birthday and a call up to the Plymouth Parkway first team squad. Dan, who started on the bench, came on for club top goalscorer, Sam Davey, and nearly had the start that would mirror an episode of Sky One’s ‘Dream Team’ where after only a few touches he slotted the ball into the back of the net. The referee’s assistant, however didn’t read the script and adjudged Dan offside, ruling the goal out. Dan’s hard work and brilliant attitude meant he kept his place in the F.A Vase squad on Saturday where he travelled to Brislington where the team came away victors. Not a bad week for an 18 year old.
So with one young player moving to the first team, a space opened up with the reserve side. The conveyor belt of talent full of options, but it was 16 year old Fin McBeth that made the step up, coming on in the 42nd minute as a substitute for the injured John Wyatt. Fin, with electric pace and brilliant first touch got on the end of an a lofted ball over the top of the defence and slotted home a cool debut goal on the 54th minute.
With the under 18’s side having an unbeaten start to their season in both league and cup competition. The future of Plymouth Parkway looks very bright.