As part of the football development at Ilkeston Town FC we will be running a u23 team for the coming season 2020/21.

The team will be managed by Anthony Spencer who will also head up the Academy. Anthony has developed a very successful group of young players who currently play in step 7 of the football pyramid and with a team of 16,17,18 year olds have occupied the top 3 spots in the league this season. We have already seen at first hand the some if the quality the team has among its ranks with Rico Spencer, Mitchel Tait and Ayleal Dill all playing for Ilkeston in the friendly V Chesterfield, Dill also went on to make several appearances for our first team.

Spencer added “As the head coach of the u23’s I feel it is my role too get these young men ready for first team football. physically and mentally.I’m here too make this happen. We will be training hard, playing top teams all while following the ethos of our first team. As a team we hope too be playing as a unit, climbing the pyramid towards the first team. On a personal note I’d like to be able to say I sent 2 or 3 players up to our first team being the Head of our academy also gives me opportunity too watch these players too as everyone has a chance too impress.

This talented young team will work closely alongside our first team thanks to our Head of Football Mark Clifford and First Team manager Martin Carruthers, and will be a pathway into the first team.

Head Of Football Mark Clifford had the following to say on the new u23’s side ” I have known Anthony for over 30 years, his passion for developing young players cannot be questioned, Anthony has a good network to ensure that we continue to attract the best young players in our region we will ensure that the pathway into the first team is an achievable goal for any player that shows the attributes and potential needed. We have a first team manager that isn’t afraid to use young players and will get the transition for this right”.

“My role as Head Of Football is to ensure that we are producing players for the first team, the Academy and U23 teams are a vital part of the machine if we are achieve the goals that i and the Investors are aiming for in the next 5 years. The Academy through to first team will play the same way to ensure that moving through the teams is as seamless as possible”.

First team manager Carruthers said ” I am excited and really looking forward to the new U23 side and the opportunities it will bring not only to the talented young players who will be participating, but to the football club and it’s fantastic supporters. Along with the academy these teams will be integral to the future success of the football club and its owners. My philosophy has always been one of development of local young players who will sweat blood and tears for this football club. That’s the minimum the supporters require and with the investment and commitment of Dave, Andy and Mark they will want to see exciting young players come to the fore in the coming years”

“I’d like to think I gave numerous opportunities to young players whilst at Basford and Quorn and not forgetting both Kole Lambert (Norwich) and Kimarni Smith (Sheffield Utd) who earned professional deals during my tenure. It will make mine and Wayne’s life so much easier knowing we can call on quality young players when needed to compliment what will be a high quality side. This will be critical in the younger players development when they will be getting regular opportunities not only to train with the 1st team squad but get regular appearances in a very good side. This will only facilitate their future development and we want to be the club known for giving youth an opportunity, but then developing them and hopefully becoming the next Che Adams! That’s the ultimate goal and we want the young players to aspire to progress through our junior sides, into our Academy and u23’s and into the 1st team and ultimately on to professional clubs. It is a fantastic time to be part of this special club and I can’t wait for pre season to start and work with high quality players.”

The incoming Head Coach for the team had said “This elite side will train hard, play a great brand of football and enjoy the experience of being an Ilkeston player. The team will be hosting invitational trials as soon as the footballing pre-season has the go ahead.”

These boys will need to show professionalism, commitment, loyalty and all attributes needed to play in a semi-professional environment.

If you think you have what it takes to be a part of the future of Ilkeston Town FC and are aged 16-22, playing high level grassroots football or have recently been released from an academy please send your footballing CV to