Cornard United to rely more on progressing youth talent
Liam Aves says the appointment of his new captain at Cornard United is a nod to the emphasis he wants to put on ‘building a club not a side’.
Central midfielder Michael Schofield, signed from Long Melford last season, has been handed the reins of managing the club’s Under-18s this season along with fellow senior player Matt Groves.
And he will also skipper the first team in the new Thurlow Nunn League First Division North as Aves looks to better utilise the youthful talent coming through the ranks.
“I am very keen to stress this season we will be relying on our U18s a lot more,” said the former Halstead Town Reserves boss who has taken sole charge of the team following previous joint manager Ryan Lines’ decision to step away due to the impending arrival of a second child.
“The reason behind that is I want to promote the youth in Cornard. I am here to build a club, not build a team that will leave Cornard when I do.
“I want to put down foundations and Mike and Matt are really key for that. They were offered good deals elsewhere but wanted to stay here and build something, and that is one of the reason why Schofs is captain.”
Having seen youngsters Mason Lumney (Brantham Athletic) and Harry Banner (Brightlingsea Regent) move up to a higher level, Aves stressed they would not hold back anyone’s development.
He has made it seven summer signings to cover departures and strengthen with central midfielder Harry Stoneman the latest recruit, coming in from Witham Town.
He joins full-backs Brad Dix and Charlie Davis, forwards Luis Weltoon and Christian Walsh and AFC Sudbury Academy’s Jack Graham and ex-Colchester United youth player Scott Johnson, who plays in central midfield.
Cornard kick off their 2018/19 campaign looking to improve on last season’s 15th place with a trip to Norwich CBS (3pm) before hosting Haverhill Borough on Tuesday (7.45pm).
“I expect Norwich to be a real tough game,” said Aves, who started his UEFA B coaching badge recently. “Last season they were a really good side who played great football and who I want our team to play football like.
“Hopefully we will have got our tactics right at training and find a way to counter how they play.
“It is one where I feel we are under no pressure as last season they finished fifth and they played the best football in the league.”
Saturday’s home friendly with Kelvedon was cancelled with Aves then deciding to have a training session.
Asked for his tip to win the division, he felt Diss Town could be one to watch after their summer recruitment, which includes the evergreen Ricky Cornish.
He feels newly-promoted Lakenheath could be another to watch, having also made some astute signings.