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Tommy Matthews

Cornwall Youth U-18 Trials

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I am pleased to announce the dates for this year's Cornwall Youth Team trials.

All the trials this year will be held at Brannel School, Rectory Road, St.Stephen, St.Austell, PL26 7RN. We have the use of the school's new 3G astro facility and changing rooms. We have centralised the trials this year because it is sometimes difficult to get the use of club grounds that have floodlights etc and then hope not to tear up the surface if the weather is poor.

The trials are open to all players who are under the age of 18 before September 1st, 2012 and are playing at East Cornwall Premier League, Cornwall Combination League level or above. The secretaries of all senior clubs have now been written to and have been asked to nominate players on the following dates. If you are a player who would like to attend the trials please ask your club secretary to put your name forward to Cornwall Youth Team Secretary, David Bray or email him at davidjbray@onetel.com

Please bring appropriate footwear, and playing kit and we will provide bibs/shirts. Please arrive at the venue at 6.30pm for 7pm start.

East Trial - Thursday, August 30th

West Trial - Thursday, September 6th

Final Trial - Thursday, September 13th

Squad Training and Final Selection - Thursday, September 20th

First game at home to Devon in the SW Counties Championship - Saturday, September 29th.

We look forward to receiving your nominations.

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why senior football only? im sure a trawlawney u18 select would compete with a combo u18 select....seems like limiting your options.a player could be 17 and playing for a trawlawney prem side and scoring for fun but not able to qualify,as opposed to a 17 year old bottom of combo who can attend.

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I think It's probably 99% irrelevant because if you're 16/17 and have the ability and attitude to play the level of football played by County Youth sides, you're already pushing yourself to play at the highest level you can.

If you're not, then there will only be a small chance you're good enough, and if you think you're good enough, push yourself to play in a higher standard, if you don't want to do that it's unlikely you'll have the drive and ambition required to play County Youth standard anyway.

The 1% who are good enough, but don't play to the required standard for a non ambition related reason, may have circumstances that might prevent them from either attending the trials or attending the games, so would be no good to the team.

Therefore a sensible cut off is required and implemented, in my opinion.

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It’s probably fair enough to limit it to those playing senior football. However, more importantly, I fear that nowadays young players are over-coached, have to play to a rigid system and are left out if they don’t conform. The young players with flair and flamboyance should always be encouraged and given their head. I want to see more ‘showmen’ on the field, the likes of Geoge Best, Rodney Marsh, Stan Bowles, Tony Currie, Frank Worthington, Charlie George, Matt Le Tissier etc. You don’t coach those type of players you just let them go out and express their natural talent. More 'characters' in local football would make it far more enjoyable to watch and probably increase attendances. Rant over ! :)

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To say 99% of the best u18 are playing senior football is total rubbish.

Totally agree - its not because of lack of ambition it can be many other factors - geography, work commitments,the thought that they are not ready to play peninsula football plus others - as i said its a closed shop - county sport has always been the same.

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Players who attend the trials are usually informed by their clubs that they have been put forward for the trials or have asked their clubs to nominate them. At the end we always tell them whether or not they have been successful and always remain for some time at the end to give feedback if they want it.

Stuart, we've known each other for a good many years and I know your views on the game. Thank you for your informed comments and opinions.

Last year we played and lost 3-1 to a superb Somerset side who included 3 England internationals in their side. They didn't get to that standard by playing at Somerset's equivalent to the fourth level of football. The very best athletes push themselves and are hungry for the challenge.

Closed shop? Don't think so. Perhaps you weren't good enough?

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Players who attend the trials are usually informed by their clubs that they have been put forward for the trials or have asked their clubs to nominate them. At the end we always tell them whether or not they have been successful and always remain for some time at the end to give feedback if they want it.

Stuart, we've known each other for a good many years and I know your views on the game. Thank you for your informed comments and opinions.

Last year we played and lost 3-1 to a superb Somerset side who included 3 England internationals in their side. They didn't get to that standard by playing at Somerset's equivalent to the fourth level of football. The very best athletes push themselves and are hungry for the challenge.

Closed shop? Don't think so. Perhaps you weren't good enough?

Certainly was not but i have been around long enough to have formed an opinion Mr Matthews - typical CCFA -speak

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i`d like to put forward a player who is knocking on the door of a penninsula team but who has been playing for our reserves.In a years time he`ll be 18 but he`s only just turned 17 and as such he`s been held back to learn his trade.I think he`s good enough to get a trial...is he good enough to play for the team? well i`m not the boss of that but i`d like to see him get a chance he`s quality..can i get a contact please..i`ll obviously send a pm

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If you want to be the best at what you do, you try to get to the highest level.

Sure it isn't easy or convenient, but if you are ambitious you make the sacrifices. It makes perfect sense to have a cut off point from a practical point of view simply to save time. Of course not all of the best players play senior football, but the most ambitious ones do and those are the one you want to focus your time, energy and effort on.

I remember traveling to Dagenham from Penzance just for the induction evening of my Level 3 Coaching Course and then getting the sleeper back the same day. I could've justified staying down here with a Level 2 and not going for my Level 3, but I was ambitious and was prepared to take time off work and save up to do the course from Penzance despite having to make regular trips to London.

Although there is always a debate about the level of talent of a player, but those playing at senior level will naturally be better as they are pushed to become better by playing against and with superior players. Can't understand why Tommy and co get such a hard time as they seem to be doing a fantastic job at getting the best out of what they have at their disposal.

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  1. i wrote to all the teams in the palatini sticker book when i was 10.I asked them for a trial.I got four responses and ended up playing youth football for peterborough
  2. When i was released i contacted other clubs.I was 16.I went to oxford for a day trial, bournemouth, scunthorpe, mansfield and these were all day trials
  3. i spent a whole week at norwich on trial only to be told i`m too small
  4. My point is that i tried and as young men so should you.Who knows where you will be 12 months from now

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i`d like to put forward a player who is knocking on the door of a penninsula team but who has been playing for our reserves.In a years time he`ll be 18 but he`s only just turned 17 and as such he`s been held back to learn his trade.I think he`s good enough to get a trial...is he good enough to play for the team? well i`m not the boss of that but i`d like to see him get a chance he`s quality..can i get a contact please..i`ll obviously send a pm

Go through your club secretary Scott, he already has a list of players to put forward

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Every year Tommy gets grief on here from people who know less about football than he has forgotten.

The opposition will come from players coached in pro academies etc and probably playing in higher leagues than SWL. If local players are good enough they should be playing senior football. Its not just about ability, things like mental strength, attitude, fitness etc also need to be considered.

Get behind the Cornwall coach, anyone who knows Tommy will know he is totally unbiased towards anyone. Most years Cornwall over achieve thanks to his hard work and coaching ability.

Good luck to all the players going to the trials.

:c: :c:

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Tommy, I have the upmost respect for you, continuing to carry on running the side given the perpetual questioning you get each season on a decision which makes absolute inherent sense. I simply cannot understand why the same questions continue to be asked of this ‘senior’ ruling; it suggests there is some other agenda taking place, which is quite simply not the case.

In my (limited) experience of working with young players, the best players have an innate desire to succeed. This carries over in most aspects, on and off the pitch. Yes there are anomalies, as there is in every walk of life, those that never fill their potential, be it by choice or circumstance. With increasing amounts of clubs and commercial companies trying to unearth a gem across the Country, talented kids are very, very rarely missed off the radar – even in Cornwall. Those that want to succeed, and have that innate desire I mentioned before, will have pushed themselves to improve (working towards the 10,000 hours - see Anders Ericsson) and in order to do so will have put themselves, at some point, in a position to be recognised or progress.

We live in a football age where top players are so rarely now plucked from Non League obscurity. Some might argue that Chris Smalling was one of those anomalies, but even he was at Milwall as a youngster and played for England Schoolboys while playing at a good semi pro level at Maidstone - point being, he wasn't just picked up from a Sunday League 4th Division side.

Talented players are identified early, and make themselves talented by their desire to improve, allied alongside their ability. Those that haven’t reached a high level by the time they are 16, or been recognised of having the ability to do so, leaves you ponder that they perhaps simply aren’t good enough. I have absolutely no doubt that if trials of these ilk were open to everyone, the squad would still be made up of footballers who play at ‘senior’ level – not only does this show a desire, but the very experience of playing with and against better players is a HUGE development tool. Especially when they come up against the likes of Somerset, Durham, Merseyside (heaven forbid!) etc – teams teeming with players who have put themselves in a position to be recognised by professional clubs or semi-pro clubs playing in or around Step 2/3/4. Anyone who has seen these young players play, will see the effect playing at a high level has had on them. They may not necessarily be substabtially ‘more talented’ than some of Cornwall’s youngsters, but they are eminently more street wise in a footballing sense, both on and off the ball.

Moreover, every season Cornwall seem to put out a side that can compete with County’s who have a far greater pool of numbers, more club sides who play at a higher level and, generally speaking, a wider access to suitable facilities. So, we can't be doing too much wrong can we? The experience of playing County football is, after all, a fantastic one. If there are genuinely players out there who think they are capable of playing in a County side, but aren’t playing Senior football – go and find a Senior club! After all, they are numerous fantastic senior clubs in the County who are all dying for good players. I don’t buy the geography argument – if you are good enough, push yourself to be better - get the train, get the bus, phone a club and ask if anyone else is travelling from your area. After all, if you are upset about not getting the chance to attend a trial because you are precluded, you would do something about it. Well, the best players would anyway...

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It was not my intention to give that impression at all Mr Rosenberg/Beer - I'm afraid that's my fault for posting in a rush (dodging the showers in order to walk the dog has become something of a routine these days!).

My point is that it can be difficult for young players to break into more established teams. A senior club that is struggling for players can give these youngsters an opening into higher level football and consequently the opportunity to try out for the County side (as happened when Portreath were struggling in the Combination League a couple of years ago). I was in no way implying that players who transfer to Penzance would automatically be selected for the County as this would be a ridiculous statement to make considering the selection decision is a group one and does not sit wholly at Tommy's feet. However, young players who are perhaps progressing from youth to junior football and have not settled with a team for the coming season could get a chance at playing a high level of football for a well-established club and would get an honest opinion from Tommy as to whether they had skills that would be of use in the County side (as would anyone who approached Tommy through this site, incidentally).

I am thrilled that Tommy has kindly agreed to help out with the coaching at Penzance (apologies also John Mead for my error) as he has a passion for football as well as a wealth of information that can only benefit the club now and in the future.

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I'm sure no one is having a go at Tommy Mathews, but are just stating it's wrong not to allow junior players the chance to play for the county unless they leave their club.

I don't think Mr Martin at godolphin would have been very happy if all his young talented players moved to Newquay a few season ago while still in Duchy prem before progressing to senior level.

Some lads do have loyalties to the club that groomed them in youth football.

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Question;

Who first played football for Heavy transport ( junior ),bugle, St blazey,Bristol rovers , crystal palace( 1st million keeper), Leeds utd and England.

But not Cornwall u18.

Who says there isn't any talent in junior football !!!!!!!!!!!

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Some lads do have loyalties to the club that groomed them in youth football.

Not all youth football teams are linked with a club (and I'm kind of certain "groomed" is a word probably best not used in the context of youth football!)

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Question;

Who first played football for Heavy transport ( junior ),bugle, St blazey,Bristol rovers , crystal palace( 1st million keeper), Leeds utd and England.

But not Cornwall u18.

Who says there isn't any talent in junior football !!!!!!!!!!!

This was before my time as the County Youth Sec. No doubt Ray and Morrish could answer this one. NM was a late developer and maybe during that short period of availability Cornwall Youth was well served by an excellent keeper playing senior football.

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No problem, Sam: I didn't know Tommy and David were consulting you on selection. Are you doing sponge-and-bucket for them nowadays ? I'm sure that County Youth is run by an extensive, representative and diverse commttee too. I can see why Penzance would be desperate to attract youngsters of high calibre at present. I'm also aware of a history of young men at other senior clubs being told that the way to selection was to join Penzance, but I know that wasn't down to David or Tommy.

Hope the dog enjoyed the walk. Grooming can be a real challenge in this wet weather, can't it ?

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