Boro link for Blues

Blues have entered into a partnership with Football League side Middlesbrough to provide a pathway for their academy players to progress to the professional games.
Martin Carter, Head of Academy Recruitment at the Championship side, will be in close contact with Blues’ management to identify potential talent throughout the South East and London.
This could lead to players playing for the Blues’ first team, and if they progress to a high enough standard, then going up for trials at Middlesbrough.
The academy players will be visiting Middlesbrough’s prestigious training facility Rockliffe Park, for coaching sessions and matches with their teams of the same age. Boro has a similar partnership in place with Northern Irish club Portadown and has close working relationships with a number of other clubs.
Blues’ coach Jim Duggan is looking forward to working with Boro: “Myself and Jamie [Cureton] are delighted with this partnership and hope it will prove to be a real inspiration and motivation to the players at both academy and senior level.
“Being able to tap into the resources of such a fantastic club like Middlesbrough Football Club is an exciting prospect and will aid the CPD of the players but also us as coaches.”
boroBoro’s Head of Youth Recruitment Martin Carter said: “Our Chairman Steve Gibson’s vision was to give opportunities to the players of Teesside and surrounding areas opportunities to become professional footballers.
“Our recruitment has expanded, with our current category one status and we feel it’s imperative we compete nationally and internationally.
“Having spent time with the staff at Bishop’s Stortford and talked at length with co-managers Jamie Cureton and Steve Smith you get a real sense of similarities in the way we deliver our programme to our players.
“They have some very talented players, who are in an excellent learning environment which will allow them to develop further.
“The energy and enthusiasm showed by everyone connected to the club was very impressive, and I think we all agree it is about creating an environment for talent to flourish.”
Blues’ academy is based at Birchwood High School and deputy principal Charles Gilbank is delighted with the link up:
“Over the last ten years we have been delighted to work in partnership with Bishops Stortford Football Club.
“The academy programme that was borne out of the partnership has gone from strength to strength; recruiting students from Hertfordshire, Essex and North London we have, together, been able to blend high quality education with excellent coaching, forging strong pathways into football, coaching and university.
“We are proud to say that the academy partnership is hailed as a beacon of best practice. “