Providing pathway into senior football the main focus for Moneyfields under-18 manager Craig Stafford
Craig Stafford admitted his main focus as Moneyfields under-18 manager is to provide a pathway into senior football for his players.
The Moneys youth team continued their flying start to the Hampshire Youth League Division One campaign with a thumping 6-0 win over Brockenhurst on Sunday.
That was a fifth victory in five league outings for Stafford’s men so far this term, leaving them in second and six points off leaders AFC Totton with two games in hand.
And although the Moneys under-18 boss is eyeing silverware this season, he revealed giving as many of his squad members opportunities in men’s football remains the priority.
Moneyfields youth team players Danny Burroughs and Rhys Lloyd have been involved with Dave Carter’s first-team set-up this season.
Meanwhile, the club’s reserve side is regularly made up of a number of under-18 players on a matchday.
And Stafford will not hesitate to continue allowing his squad members chances in senior football.
‘For some of the boys now it’s not so much about winning the league,’ Stafford revealed.
‘It’s about progression and getting them into men’s football.
‘My main priority is to get as many of our players into men’s football.
‘We’d like to do that at Moneyfields, but I’ve been around long enough to know that not all of them are going to be good enough to play at the club.
‘But if I can help some of them by getting them in at other sides then fair enough.
Two of my lads that are in the youth side and were with me last year are in the first-team squad, which is pleasing.
‘Both Danny Burroughs and Reece Lloyd are with the first team.
‘I’ve got four or five on any given week, there might be two, three or four of them that play with the reserves.
‘We want to try to compete in the league, but it’s now about feeling these lads into men’s football.’
Moneyfields under-18s are still fighting for glory on four fronts as they aim to build on their Hampshire Cup win last season.
But Stafford believes winning silverware this season could depend on the team is he able to get out as the campaign goes on.
‘It would be nice. (to win some silverware),’ Stafford added.
‘We’ve got the Hampshire Cup on Sunday.
‘We won that last season and are the holders of that one.
‘When we’re talking about the cups, that’s the one we’d like to retain, if we can.
‘We’ll need a bit of luck.
‘We’re also in the quarter-finals of the League cup as well, where we face Gosport.’