IN A CLIMATE of constant change, the Swindon Town youth development programme has retained a degree of consistency - a hugely important quality in the eyes of academy manager Jeremy Newton.
The former Centre of Excellence director, who moved into his new role with the advent of the EPPP, has been a mainstay at the club since 2003 when he arrived to work in the Football in the Community offices with Jon Holloway and Clive Maguire.
Since then he has seen Andy King, Iffy Onuora, Dennis Wise, Paul Sturrock, Maurice Malpas, Danny Wilson, Paul Hart and Paolo Di Canio all take charge of first-team affairs - vastly different regimes with varying ethea and standards of professionalism.
In the youth section, however, very little has changed. Newton has gone up through the ranks to his current position and he feels young players are likely to succeed more when working with a system so familiar to them.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes management wise but we’ve built a good team over the years,” he said. “The academy and the youth department have seen some stability over the years which is important because you can build up links with the schools and local leagues and the players get to see those familiar faces over the years.
“There’s still times where you’ll see the youth team players and they’ll trust you so they won’t mind coming in and speaking to you and I think that’s important.
“We can’t dictate the first-team managers changing, what we’ve done is try to create a philosophy within the academy which has been there even before us.
“All we did was change a little bit where we think we want to take the academy. Youth departments, if you look around other clubs, have been stable for a long time. They produce some fantastic players and they’re fundamental to their clubs. That philosophy is to produce within their own.”