Bradford Park Avenue always scouting for pearls

KUDOS: Players such as Michael Duckworth, left, moving to the full-time game can help clubs like Avenue build a good reputation

KUDOS: Players such as Michael Duckworth, left, moving to the full-time game can help clubs like Avenue build a good reputation

First published in Sport by

The recent signings are settling in well but Park Avenue boss John Deacey is still on the lookout for new recruits.

He and his number two Mark Hume take in several games a week scouting for players and forging links.

It is not so much for this campaign but the next season and beyond.

Deacey said: “We want promising young players and we never stop looking because they are out there.

“We watch Evo-Stik and Northern Counties East games and we’ve been keeping tabs on some very good lads.

“You have to get the timing right though because some of them are not quite ready for our level.

“I think its rewarding bringing players on and seeing them progress.

“If you can help them play at the highest level they can you don’t mind them leaving your club. I think some of the players we have here at the moment can go higher.”

Losing players like Michael Duckworth (who signed for Hartlepool) to the full-time game is a good thing for clubs like Avenue.

A good record of developing and improving players sometimes seals the deal when they are in talks with potential new signings.

The Avenue manager is also aware that now his club are in the Conference set-up they are a bigger fish and able to attract more players from lower leagues.

Deacey said: “I go around looking for players that are in the divisions below us.

“The clubs in the lower divisions of the Football League shop round in the Conference Premier and North and South divisions. It’s a knock-on effect.

“You have got to do it as a club because we don’t have big budgets to bring in ready-made players or like-for-like replacements just as and when we need them. It doesn’t work like that.

“But I do think clubs should look for local talent. They should get to know all their local clubs and get to watch players coming through that are from their area.

“There are an awful lot of clubs that think if their own youth system hasn’t picked up a player then he’s never going to make it. A lot of full-time clubs from the Premier Division down have missed a kid on their own doorstep and it’s a shame.”

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