The RIASA programme is continuing to prove a resounding success at Eccleshill United and head coach Lee Duxbury has an embarrassment of riches.
The Richmond International Academic and Sporting Academy, headed by former Bradford City winger Mark Ellis, has provided a lot of players for the Eagles and some have gone on to professional clubs at home and abroad.
Duxbury’s job is to develop all of the players during the day at RIASA’s Leeds base and also try to fit them into his Eagles team. That task is proving to be difficult because of the high standard of the young players the programme is unearthing.
Duxbury said: “I’ve got three goalkeepers and all of them are top class. Some of the results we have had have been down to one or another of them but you can’t play all three!
“They all deserve to play, every game, but I have to leave two of them out every time I pick a team. That’s difficult because they are quality keepers and they have been at Everton for trials and training.
“They have spent time at Aston Villa as well. I know Gordon Cowans and he runs the football development down there. He has been impressed with the quality of some of our players.”
Duxbury took over at Eccleshill straight from being Paul Dickov’s assistant at Oldham Athletic and if he is spoilt in terms of his squad, the Eagles have certainly been spoilt by the quality of boss Ellis has been able to attract.
Since RIASA began their partnership with the club, luminaries such as Ian Banks and Bobby Davidson have previously been in charge.