Worksop Town U21's boss praises first-team pathway

Newly-appointed Worksop Town Under-21s manager Scott Willis says the pathway between the academy and the first team is a pleasing opportunity for his side.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 7:46 am
Scott Willis during his time with Worksop's U18s in 2019.

Willis has four years of experience at an Under-18s level, having previously managed Kiveton Park and Worksop, and re-joins the Tigers from Handsworth Ambers.

And the new Under-21s boss is looking forward to building a side, who will be ready to step into a first-team environment next season.

Willis said: “It is a good challenge for me, and I have some unfinished business from the last time I was here.

“The link with the first team is a real buzz for me, as I will be trying to get the guys from the younger ages an opportunity to make the step into the first team.

“The changes have been filtered down from Paz [Craig Parry first-team manager] in terms of how he would like the Under-21s and Under-19s to play to give them the prospect to be in a position for players to be ready, creating a pathway which makes it quite exciting.

“Our goals are to challenge as high as we can in the division that we are going to be in. But, for me, the success of the Under-21s will bring better players year on year, so if we can start with a good side, then you will always attract better players.

“The biggest success for me will be how many can we get into the first team on a regular basis.

“If we can get one or two a season to get regular game time with the first team then we are doing something right.”

Academy director Laurie Griffin has backed Willis to use his experience to progress players through the club.

“Scott is someone who is well connected within the local footballing world,” added Griffin. “He brings welcome experience with him at a professional development level and will take this programme to new heights.

“We are working hard for the Under-21s team to become a headache for first-team manager Craig Parry, in terms of giving him some tough decisions with young players trying to break into the first team.

“We want to drive up the quality and Scott is the man to do that.”

A trial for the Under-21s will take place on Tuesday 22 June from 7pm-9pm at Sandy Lane.