The man responsible for the new St Ives Town Football Club Scholarship programme believes it will create excellent opportunities for the town’s youngsters.

The full-time, two-year programme, which launches in September with an intake of 20 students, combines educational studies with football training.

It will be led by Jack Cassidy, who is also the assistant manager of the club's first team that plays in Division One Central of the Southern League.

And he is hugely excited about the creation of the scholarship which was financed by a windfall received from the transfer of former Saints player Conor Washington from Newport County to Peterborough United last year.

Mr Cassidy said: "The scholarship will hopefully provide the best of both worlds for youngsters.

"They will receive extensive coaching in football which will hopefully help them to progress in the game while the educational aspect will provide plenty of exit routes into either further education or work.

"It will also create stronger links between the club and community which is something we were keen to make happen."

The 20 youngsters in the inaugural scholarship intake successfully came through a trial process which was followed by interviews involving their parents.

St Ives have also announced a partnership with KickOn Coaching who will run a Development Centre which offers Friday-night training for youngsters.

It will act as a feeder system for the scholarship programme in future years and is open to players who will be in school year 11 from September, 2015 and who have a desire of gaining a place on the Scholarship programme in September, 2016.

Any players involved in the Development Centre will be able to continue playing competitive football for their existing clubs at grassroots level.

INFORMATION: Interest in the development centre can be registered by visiting either www.kickoncoaching.com or www.stivestownfc.co.uk.