Colin Lee: Back to training with a difference

An inspiration for all young players in the area is local boy Ollie Watkins

An inspiration for all young players in the area is local boy Ollie Watkins joining Aston Villa from Brentford in a club-record deal. - Credit: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

A busy week started with a meeting with Chelsea Foundation to receive the necessary information and understanding on what needs to be implemented to enable training to start at the Chelsea Foundation Advance Centre in Totnes.

The centre is a weekly football training centre run for children aged between under-sevens and under-13.

The training programme is set to concentrate on player development and positional understanding.

We play the odd game but our aim is to help maximise the player ability and instil confidence into each individual.

The centre, which is due to start on September 25, operates on a Friday evening at King Edward VI Community College in Totnes and is entering into its sixth season under very different circumstances with Covid-19 still with us and causing all sorts of problems and concerns.

The meeting took place on site and, as expected, issued a strict understanding in an attempt to minimise any risk to our young players.

Parents will need to register their child/children online for the training programme and will receive a parent pack explaining everything expected in an attempt to combat Covid-19.

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Training times are to be staggered with entry and exit routes for the training area. Parents drop-off and pick-up their child/ children at designated points and all players will be met by their coach.

On entering the training area, everyone will have their temperature taken and hands sanitised. Coaches will wear masks which can be removed when delivering their session. Players will not be able to move between groups.

The coaches will have sanitiser spray guns available which they can use when moving equipment. Sanitised wipes will be available throughout the sessions.

When leaving the training area everyone will again sanitise their hands and make their way to the pick-up point escorted by their coach. There will also be a sanitiser area to sanitise the equipment when the sessions are finished.

All equipment will be washed in three large containers consisting of a sanitising solution, soapy water and water to rinse. Very different but the safety of the children is of utmost importance and our top priority.

The centre is a select-only centre where players can attend a two-three week assessment period and, if successful, will be taken on for the full season.

It is a unique centre helping young players in their football development at no cost to the parents for the training sessions.

If you run a team and think you have one or two quality players or a parent who thinks their child could benefit from our programme, contact me to arrange an assessment period.

An inspiration for all young players in the area is the great news this week that local boy Ollie Watkins joining Aston Villa from Brentford in a club-record deal.

Watkins who grew up in Newton Abbot and went to South Dartmoor Community College, and is another product of the Exeter City Academy.

Aston Villa have broken their transfer record to sign Ollie Watkins on a five-year deal. It is understood the club are to pay an initial £28million fee, potentially rising to £33million in add-ons.

The deal for Watkins also represents a record sale for Exeter City, who have cashed in a seven-figure sum thanks to a sell-on clause on their former Academy product following his move to Brentford for less than £2million in 2017.

What is a sell-on clause? A sell-on clause is an agreed percentage of any future sale minus the initial fee paid - a percentage of the profit.

Watkins was the highest scorer in the Championship last season, scoring 26 times with a majority of his goals scored in the six-yard box and around the penalty spot.

He was also the top big chance striker, taking 19 of big chances created – good luck Ollie in your next career chapter.