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Tonbridge Angels are relocating their football academy from Hadlow College to Longmead Stadium

By Steve Tervet

Tonbridge Angels are relocating their football academy from Hadlow College to their home ground at Longmead Stadium.

Having been based at the college for four years, the academy has been moved in a switch that the club believe will benefit youth development. It’s the latest change at the start of what is a new era for Angels.

Manager Steve McKimm is gearing up for his first season in charge after Tonbridge – under the stewardship of Tommy Warrilow – were relegated back to the Ryman League in April.

Tonbridge Angels boss Steve McKimm Picture: David Couldridge

The academy will be managed by Jon Ellwood, with Chris Hollyoak and John Gibbons as directors.

Mr Gibbons said: “We are grateful to Hadlow College for all the support and facilities they have provided for the academy but we feel that now is the right time to have all our facilities in one location, particularly as the club moves to becoming a community-owned organisation.”

Soccer Coaching Limited (SCL) will be the academy’s new educational provider, with Tonbridge up against the likes of Gillingham, Eastbourne Borough and Bromley in the Conference Youth Alliance.

McKimm said: “Because I’ve only just come in, I’ve been sorting out the playing squad and friendlies, so I haven’t really had a chance yet to talk to John Gibbons and the other people concerned.

“But I do think it’s a good thing that the academy will be based in Tonbridge, rather than away from Tonbridge. Academies can produce one or two gems and if Tonbridge do that, it’ll be worthwhile doing it."

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