O'Neill To Head Up Newly Launched Academy
The club are delighted to welcome Liam O'Neill as the Academy Manager for the newly launched Rugby Town Academy of Football.
Following on from yesterday's breaking announcement, Rugby Town are pleased to welcome Liam O'Neill as the Academy Manager and Head Coach for the new scheme.
The scheme for 16-19 year olds will begin in August 2018 and will be ran in partnership with education provider Morthyng Group Ltd with the course headed up by the ex-Nuneaton Town Academy boss and one-time Valley player O'Neill.
|New Academy manager Liam O'Neill has enjoyed success with Nuneaton in the last two seasons
The Full-Time Football/Education BTEC Scholarship programme is for 16-19 year olds who wish to continue their further education whilst training and playing for Rugby Town daily basis in a full-time footballing environment ran from the excellent Butlin Road stadium and training facility.
Rugby Town FC Director Neil Melvin said: "We are delighted to now offer this academy scheme.
"We are hoping that this new programme will help to provide a clear pathway for young footballers from Rugby and the surrounding area into first team football at Butlin Road."
O’Neill will lead the programme as the club's full-time football education programme's Head Coach and he will spearhead this exciting new project in conjunction with education provider
Morthyng Group Ltd and the Academy’s patron Richard Overson. The 44 year-old makes the switch to the Butlin Road-based programme after two highly successful years in his full-time role at Nuneaton, which followed a distinguished playing, coaching and management career in senior football.
His time at the National League’s club academy saw his Under 19's team last season capture the double of winning the Premier League VAR trophy at St George’s Park and then being crowned National League (Div H) U19 league Champions, as well as reaching the National League Cup Quarter finals.
He said: "I have had a fantastic two years as Academy Manager at Nuneaton and we have had great success both on and off the pitch.
"A dozen or so lads were given debuts in the first team in the last year and a couple have got moves into the Football League and that is something I’m very proud of."
"It is my job to develop, coach and mentor these young scholars into not just becoming better footballers but guiding them towards a better education and becoming finer young men in the process.
"Our two to three year football education programme offers them a real chance to continue higher education along with working daily as a full time footballer."
O’Neill’s playing career included spells at Mansfield, Blackburn, Cheltenham, Banbury Utd, Evesham Utd, Bedworth & Rugby, before he moved into coaching aged 33 when he managed Bedworth United for three years - guiding them to their best ever FA Cup run losing to 0-2 York City in the 4th Qualifying Round in 2009.
He then spent over four years as assistant manager at Leamington culminating in The Brakes winning the Southern League Premier Division Championship and promotion to the National League North, with further spells in an assistant role at Corby Town and Stratford Town.
Looking forward to the new challenge, the new Town Academy Manager concluded: "I’m a Rugby lad and I watched the Valley week in week out as a kid with my dad.
"I made my first team debut as a 15-year-old under Jimmy Knox and played against Manchester United in his testimonial at Butlin Road too, so people locally know how special the club is to me.
"I'm really looking to getting started and fingers crossed this can be the start of a bright future in terms of giving young footballers a continued educational path and developing future first team players for the club in tandem."
Academy Trial Date
An open trial date has been set for Saturday 2nd June 2018 at the Butlin Road Stadium at 2pm.
The trial is open to any 16-18 year olds (Year 11 or Year 12) students who wish to showcase their footballing ability and gain their place in next season's scholarship intake.
For further details and to book your place email firstname.lastname@example.org.