Andy Pilley outlines strategy for a 'sustainable' Fleetwood Town

Owner Andy Pilley has expressed his “enormous pride” in the young players making names for themselves in the Fleetwood Town team, and says they have a vital part to play in his bid to build a “self-sustainable” club.

Thursday, 16th December 2021, 12:30 pm

Read More

Read More
Andy Pilley on Fleetwood Town transfer embargo: I acted in club's best interests...

Developing young players, giving them first-team opportunities and preparing them to move on to a higher level is the cornerstone of chairman Pilley’s strategy for the Highbury club.

The conveyor belt from the academy to Town’s League One side has picked up pace this season, reaping rewards in recent weeks with back-to-back wins which lifted the side out of the relegation zone ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Morecambe.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Jay Matete is one Fleetwood player interesting clubs at a higher level, says chairman Andy Pilley

Pilley told the club website: “The young players have been absolutely amazing this season. It gives me enormous pride as the owner to see so many exciting, hugely talented young players representing Fleetwood at first-team level.

“We’ve had 12 (academy graduates) who have featured throughout the season and that should be proof to any young player that a pathway through to the first team is readily available at Fleetwood.

“We’re not just talking the talk – we are demonstrating it if you are good enough.

“These exceptional facilities will make you better but, most importantly, you can show us how good you are and you can create yourselves a career.”

The idea is for the club to become more viable as a business by nurturing its own star players and capitalising on them.

Pilley added: “My ultimate goal for Fleetwood is to make the club a self-sustainable business that can run without my constant requirement to invest in it to keep it to the standard it has become accustomed to, so the model is very much now about developing young players.

“That’s why we’re so focused on getting the best players through the academy. They can be guaranteed they’ll be given a chance at this football club.

“We’ve got further investment for the training ground around the corner, which will take us to the next level. That’s hugely exciting.

“There will be some announcements about that in the very near future and there are other things going on which will be announced very soon.

“I think people will sit up and take notice of what Fleetwood are doing because it is not the norm, it is far from the norm. It’s something which I think is part of running a football club successfully in the future. I think you’ve got to be forward-thinking.”

That thinking does mean selling Fleetwood’s top young prospects to clubs at higher levels.

Pilley explained: “There’s no point having 12 players from the academy playing in the EFL this season if they’re just going to stay at Fleetwood for the rest of their career.

“We want to be that club that has the reputation of being the best in the EFL for giving players the opportunity and getting them a move to the Championship or to the Premier League. I’m confident we can do that.

“We’ve got some outstanding talent. We will give them game time and they can make great use of our outstanding facilities and our coaches.

“There’s a cluster of clubs very interested in both James (Hill) and Jay (Matete), understandably so, and other players as well whose time will come.

“I think both of those players will move on in the not-too-distant future. Now they play for us, they’ll continue to give their very best.

“It’s using us as a stepping stone to get to the Championship or the Premier League. That is the objective and that’s what we’re committed to achieving.”

The chairman also paid credit to the coaching staff for turning the young players into such outstanding assets for his club.

He added: “It’s a great accolade to Simon Wiles, Stephen Crainey, Baz Nicholson and everyone who is involved at that level, it really is.

“That is the future of this football club really. We must create stars of the future and I’m supremely proud of what’s happened so far.”

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here