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Lovett has big Borough plans
Jay Lovett would love to help produce a stream of local youngsters for Eastbourne Borough’s first team.
Former Borough player Lovett was this week announced as the manager of the club’s new academy.
The 35-year-old attended trials for prospective players on Tuesday and cannot wait for the scheme to be launched in full in September.
The idea is to provide a missing link between the first team and the club’s successful development centre, which is currently in its second year and caters for footballers aged 11 to 16.
Borough’s academy will provide a two-year full-time educational and football development programme for up to 24 players aged between 16 and 18.
Boss Tommy Widdrington wants a steady stream of young talent coming through to push for first team places.
Borough will cast their net wide to get the best possible youngsters but Lovett would love nothing more than for the bulk of them to be from Sussex.
The first team squad now includes only a handful of Sussex boys and Lovett would love to change that.
He said: “Eastbourne Borough has always been a developing club. It is a club I used to play for and a club I am very fond of. This is a job I have always wanted to do, getting involved with youth football especially at under-18s level.
“My role will be providing the missing link between the first team and the development squad that they have at the moment.
“I want to help develop a strong youth system where younger ones come up through and they have something to aspire to, which is being in the youth team. Then when they are in the youth team my job will be to coach them and help them become the best players they can be and progress them on to the first team.
“I will be trying to develop players ready for Conference south, further down the line Conference premier and maybe further down the line Football League. Eastbourne over the years has always developed local based players and had quite a bit of success through doing that.
“My role will be to bring in youngsters, especially local youngsters, develop them and get them in the first team so that Eastbourne again have local based players playing in their side and hopefully doing well for them.”
For now, Lovett will combine the role with playing for Met Police, running Albion’s women’s side and working for Crawley Town on the community side.
The Borough position, though, really excites him.
He added: “It is an exciting time, especially as we are going through the recruitment process and trying to attract the best youngsters that we can to the club.
“There is a bit of competition around with Crawley and Brighton looking for under-18s players and Lewes have the academy as well but hopefully what we can set up, the style of coaching we want to achieve and the way we want to push them will appeal to young players.”
Borough first team’s Conference south relegation battle resumes at Farnborough today.