Royals confirm structure of youth coaches

By Connor Steel

AFC PORTCHESTER have announced the coaching set-ups of their three youth development teams for the 2022-23 season, as steps are taken to ensure young players have a clearly defined pathway through to the first team following recent successes and stars featuring in the Wessex League.

The first changes centre around the under-23s (u23s), with the team retained from last campaign where they played teams such as Gosport and Sholing in their division. A slight tweak however will see them switch from Thursday night football to Saturday afternoons, with an open division to improve opposition and experience.

Mark Dugan will be leading the U23s side as he returns to the senior set-up, having supported the first team following the departure of ex-manager Mick Catlin. Dugan will continue in his role as the current ladies boss following their cup success and will led the team on Sundays.

An assistant manager to Dugan is yet to be confirmed by the club and this will be made public in the next few days or weeks. But it has been announced that one of two U23 coaches will be Andrew Thomson, with the other set to be confirmed shortly via the club media platforms.

Thomson will furthermore be managing the under-18s (u18s) and he will be joined by assistant manager Richard Peterson. It is not known how many coaches will join the team for the 2022-23 campaign, although one name has been confirmed as Richard Edwards in an online statement.

And finally Jay Carr will manage the Portchester under-16s development side with support from Andrew Hireson in the assistant manager role. Two coaches have also been confirmed as Kris Foster and Tristan Knight for their new season due to start in August following a summer break.

All of these sides are already busy formulating their pre-season plans and announcements on training sessions and friendlies will be announced shortly alongside those for the first team who have confirmed their opening game of warm up encounters to be held later this summer.

They will travel to Dorset-based and Southern League outfit Dorchester Town on July 5, (Tuesday evening) with a 7:45pm kick-off at the Avenue Stadium. More friendlies will be confirmed in due course and fans are asked to regularly check social media or the club website for details.

PICTURED BY NON-LEAGUE NATTER: Portchester’s home ground provides a platform for youth to shine.