SPECIAL REPORT, Part Two: Jack Cassidy is loving the day job at St Ives Town
- Credit: Archant
It is not just first-team success on the mind of Jack Cassidy – his involvement at St Ives Town runs much deeper than that.
Cassidy earns his living by leading the club’s football education programme which was launched for the current academic year with an initial intake of 20 youngsters.
It was made possible by Saints’ proceeds from a sell-on clause which was activated when their former striking star, Conor Washington, moved from Newport County to Peterborough two-and-a-half years ago.
The number of students will grow to 40 in September with a new intake joining the existing bunch.
Cassidy said: “We have 20 lads on the course this year. They are coached in the mornings before being taught in the afternoons as they study for a BTEC in sport.
“That will virtually double next season when Ben Seymour-Shove, one of our first-team players, is joining me on the coaching staff. We’ll also have another tutor in for the education aspect.
“I feel we have made a difference to the lives of some of the lads already on the programme, and that is really important to me.
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“It is about creating responsible young adults who can earn a qualification to better themselves – and hopefully some of them will progress into our first team in the future.
“We need to be renowned for providing after-care for lads even after their two years on our programme has ended.
“The programme was launched with the help of the money from Conor’s transfer and he has been so supportive ever since.
“Anything I have asked for from him – in terms of time and advice - he has always been there to take my call, and hopefully he will be able to come along to talk to the lads next year.”
Cassidy believes the creation of the programme, along with the introduction of a new ladies team last season, has helped to grow St Ives Town.
He added: “We really feel like a club now, rather than just being a team.
“We are providing opportunities in the community for young lads and female footballers while also trying to bring success at first-team level.
“I want to be able to leave a legacy, if the time ever comes to leave St Ives, of having moved the club forward.”