Development side not being scrapped says St Albans City owner

PUBLISHED: 17:19 20 January 2016 | UPDATED: 17:19 20 January 2016

St Albans City's co-owner Lawrence Levy has said that developing players like Gerardo Smaldone is still the priority. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

St Albans City's co-owner Lawrence Levy has said that developing players like Gerardo Smaldone is still the priority. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Robert Walkley

St Albans City owner Lawrence Levy has moved quickly to reassure fans over the future of the club's development squad.

A statement released on the club’s website on Tuesday night hinted at the demise of the squad when it announced they would be pulling out of the Spartan South Midlands League Division Two with immediate effect.

However, Levy insisted that youth was still at the forefront of his plans for the club.

He said: “There will be a youth programme next season.

“We are looking at all options and are just working out what is best for the development for the players going forward.

“My belief is all about bringing through youth players to the first team.”

The club cited problems with fixture cancellations and the fact that some of the players needed “protecting” among the reasons.

In the statement, newly-appointed director of football, Adam Lee, said: “Our initial entry into the SSML was in the hope that we would be granted permission to play in Division One.

“As a new entrant, we were placed in Division Two and our expectations for young player development were not met.

“Some of the boys, being 16, need protecting along the way with their development.

“Poor pitches, other than our own, and the fact that so many away games are regularly cancelled left us invariably void of fixtures and even a league cup game had been called off six times since the end of October.”

He went on to say that the club would be looking to arrange loan moves for the remainder of the year.

He added: “It is our intention to help further develop our crop of good young players by finding a couple of local clubs for them to integrate into whilst retaining their registrations and identity with St Albans City FC for the remainder of the 15/16 campaign.

“The younger players will all continue to be eligible to play in our U18 Eastern Junior Alliance side on Sundays.”

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