St Neots Town link up with Norwich City to help bring youth players through

SNOWMEN: St Neots celebrate in the snow after Lewis Hilliard's late, late winner. Picture: Andy Wils

SNOWMEN: St Neots celebrate in the snow after Lewis Hilliard's late, late winner. Picture: Andy Wilson. - Credit: Archant

MIKE Kearns says St Neots Town have pulled off a coup by linking up with Premier League side Norwich City.

The two clubs have signed a contractual partnership agreement which will see them work hand-in-hand in the development of youth players and coaches at The Cozy Stadium.

St Neots manager Iain Parr, who was still recovering from his side’s dramatic 4-3 comeback win against Kettering Town on Saturday, said: “A partnership with Norwich City speaks volumes about our club and how we go about our business.

“Our commitment to take St Neots Town forward and our long term objectives are there for all to see.”

The link-up follows a doubling in effort by the Southern League club, its manager, and managing director Lee Kearns, with Parr spending time at Norwich’s academy recently and the Norfolk club sending youth teams west for games.

“The agreement will allow our academy to utilise the magnificent facilities at The Cozy Stadium as a recruitment hub for East Anglia,” said Norwich academy manager Ricky Martin.

“St Neots Town are looking to build their club with the same objectives as our academy and we look forward to working with them at all levels, from grassroots through to the progression of their first team.”

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Lee Kearns said: “It cannot be overstated how important the partnership with Norwich City is to St Neots Town.

“It should be viewed as a statement of intent to our continued commitment to grow and develop St Neots Town as a brand, a business and, most importantly, as a highly ambitious football club.”

The Hunts Post talked to Parr about his hopes and dreams for the future of the club for an article we published last month.

This link-up further extends the influence of a club determined to bring youth players from the district through to its first team and maybe further.

“It’s a balancing act,” said the manager. “The development of the youth side of the club is just as important as the first team.

“We are working hard to make this the community club that St Neots deserves.”

Links are already strong with Peterborough United and they are also being forged with Cambridge United and other professional clubs.

“This is a coup for St Neots,” said the chairman, Mike Kearns. “All the work that Iain and Lee are putting in to make this happen is paying off. We are proud of the link-up with Norwich.”