SHORTWOOD United will reintroduce a development team next season.

Financial constraints forced the Nailsworth club to withdraw their development team from the Hellenic League last season, but the Meadowbank outfit are now in a position to run two teams next season to augment their flourishing youth set-up.

Taking the development reigns at Meadowbank is former West Brom and Bristol Rovers development centre coach Chris Hicks, who will be assisted by Shane Mathews, who has overseen Ebley youth for the past 13 years as chairman, coach and secretary.

The new Shortwood Development boss has a raft of coaching acumen and works for the FA, mentoring coaches throughout Gloucestershire. Hicks also previously coached Cheltenham ladies in the FA Women’s Premiere League.

"Our development focus will be to help support local young players in what for some will be a first introduction to senior adult football alongside experienced players looking for a new challenge, with a clear pathway to the first team," said Hicks.

"The pathway we are creating will be open to all players, who wish to further their footballing experience, if players are looking for a fresh challenge and want to test themselves at a higher level.

"Shortwood United are continuing to building for the future and are excited about the prospect of giving locals players the opportunity."

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