Stowmarket Town FC

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Hawkins Appointed New Under-18s Boss

Alex Moss  Twitter:   @stowtownfc  Picture: Contributed

Stowmarket Town are pleased to announce Liam Hawkins as the club’s new Under-18s manager.

Hawkins was announced as the successor to previous boss Peter Mayhew, who recently stepped down from the role after three years in charge of Stow’s Thurlow Nunn Youth League side.

The new manager will be assisted by Ellis Smith and William Wharton-Richardson, as they look to continue the team’s progress and also help develop more young players for the club’s three senior sides.

“I want to thank Peter because he’s built a great foundation for the under-18s,” Hawkins said.

“The club was a lot worse off when he started. He’s built a great foundation for us to build on, and some of the players he brought in will be involved this year.

“We want to play every game to win, but we won’t play every game to win at all costs.

“We will very much model ourselves in every game, whether it’s in the cups, a friendly or in the league, directly on the first team and how they set themselves up.

“What’s important for us is that our season is judged not on trophies, silverware or matches won compared to matches lost, but on how many boys get adult minutes. That’s the most important thing for us.

“The players that play in the under-18s will sign for the A’s and the reserves, and possibly the first team.

“We’ll try and push them through when the time is right. Hopefully by the end of the season some of them will get adult minutes.

“Whether that’s for the A team, the reserves or the first team, as long as they’re wearing a Stow badge, that’s no problem to me.”

Hawkins, who also manages Stow’s Under-14s EJA and Under-15s EJA sides, played in the club’s youth setup himself and made several appearances for the reserves and first team.

The new boss has already been busy, putting on two trial nights for players and has also been in talks with Stow’s first team manager Paul Musgrove on how the two squads can work together.

“We had our first training session last week,” Hawkins said. “We had 22 new players come in last week and last night we had 35 I think.

“There’s a good level of boys coming in. Some have been hand picked and some have come from younger age groups as well. It’s a good mixture.

“It’s a huge testament to the club in a sense what they’re doing to attract the boys to come over and play.

“We’re competing with Needham and Sudbury who have their own academies, but we’re still pulling in 35 players, so we’re doing something right.

“When I spoke to Muzzy we spoke about starting up a mentoring side. Perhaps a first team player can get an arm round a player they find similar to themselves.

“It will be another string to the bow for the club. I don’t know many adult clubs that do that.”