A message from our new Chief Operating Officer, Rebecca Nuttall:

Happy New Year all.

As I commence the first few weeks within my new role, I would like to formally introduce myself. I have joined Haverfordwest County AFC from Cardiff Metropolitan University FC, where I held the position of General Manager and Academy Manager.

I have no doubt that, over the coming weeks, I will have the opportunity to meet some of you and discuss all things academy football. We have a long way to go in developing our current structure, but I would like to believe that, at some point not too far away, Haverfordwest County Academy can be the pinnacle of junior football in Pembrokeshire.

I am looking to run a parents evening in the coming weeks. Ahead of this, if there is anything I can support you with, please do get in touch.

Mid-season academy report

With the season now having reached the halfway mark, our Head of Coaching, Ashleigh Hopkins and Academy Lead Phase Coordinator, Ben Evans, recently sat down to talk through what’s been going on at the club’s Category B Licence academy.

The academy is always looking to improve to attract the best players in Pembrokeshire, and, since our last update a few months ago, there have been numerous developments which we would like to inform you of.

We now have our own medical team, which consists of Henry Fensome – who has joined as our matchday physio for home fixtures across the Foundation, Youth and Development squad’s- and Alexandra Phillips, a third year student studying Sports Conditioning, Rehabilitation and Massage who will be attending training sessions on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays to support and develop our future Bluebirds.

15 academy coaches have now completed and passed the FAW Level 2 First Aid course, which we need for academy criteria purposes. The course aims to provide the academy coaches with a greater depth of knowledge, and to build on the FAW Level 1 – which staff had to obtain to become a coach in the academy.

We recently attended the Swansea City Football Festivals with all of our Foundation age groups, along with a FAW Futsal Event in Cardiff.

We have affiliated to the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of Wales for a second season, with five under-15s and eight under-17s boys, along with 11 girls, having been asked to attend a trial in February, where we hope to achieve more Welsh caps after Development team player Kristers Kudrjavcevs was called up last season.

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Harri and Dan John both featured for the Welsh Colleges against Australia recently, and were also involved in the Welsh Schools squad for their game with the same opponent. It was fantastic to see the twins gaining under-19s caps as they continue their development with the club.

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It was brilliant to see Jacob Owen signing his first professional contract with the club recently. Jacob joined the academy setup at the start of the season, and has been involved in the majority of first team matchday squads ever since. Congratulations Jacob, and good luck for the remainder of the season!

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Players throughout the academy are working hard to get into the Team of the Week, which is based on attitude, improvement, development and performance. The team is selected from right across the age groups from under-8s to under-19s.

We were delighted to recently launch a partnership with Rising Stars Football Coaching, which will help to develop a female player pathway for girls in Pembrokeshire and the surrounding areas. At a recent training session, it was great to see over 100 girls in attendance. As a club, we have a strong ambition to create a ladies football team in the future, and this is a fantastic start to our journey, with the partnership striving to offer girls from Pembrokeshire the best opportunities to develop themselves as footballers.

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As well as this, we have also formed a partnership with grassroots side, Hundleton FC, which will see the two clubs work together to further develop the player pathway for aspiring footballers in the county, covering the Foundation age groups of 7-11 for girls and boys. Players and staff will be supporting the academy in various areas such as coaching and recruitment, and we’re delighted to have them on board with us.

We have free sessions this season for both under-13s and under-14s, which will allow both squads to be competitive in the FAW Academy South next season. The sessions are held at Ysgol Caer Elen on both Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm till 7.15pm.

Any new player recruited into the academy will now have a signing photo taken at the Ogi Bridge Meadow, along with their parents and guardians. It was great to see Oliver and Leo sign on with the under-15s before Christmas.


Unfortunately, the Development squad were knocked out of the FAW Youth Cup recently by Barry Town United. However, they are performing very well in the Cymru Premier Development League South, and recorded an excellent 3-2 win away at current leaders Briton Ferry Llansawel last Sunday, which keeps us right in the hunt for the league title as we approach the business end of the season.

We have recruited parent representatives at each age group, which has proven to be a fantastic way to improve our transparency and communication. Thank you to all of the parents who have come on board so far.

We have introduced a third training session on Fridays for the Youth and Development phases, will be based around match preparation. These sessions will rotate on a weekly basis to allow different age groups to take part in the additional session.

Brand new goals for the Foundation age groups have been delivered, and we hope to have them up and running soon.

Our academy youngsters at an FAW Academy Festival wearing their away kit, which is kindly sponsored by Valero Pembroke Refinery.

We currently have some surplus kit available for Foundation players. If you would like to purchase the kit at a discounted rate, please get in touch.

We were delighted to recently appoint Alex Duthie as our new head of foundation phase. Alex has been with the academy since July, and has been coaching the under-11s this season. He has worked in a variety of coaching roles, including spending time in Pennsylvania in the United States.

Despite recently stepping down as first team secretary and academy operations manager, Julie Howells will be continuing in her role as academy safeguarding officer. We are delighted that Julie will be remaining with us on a part-time basis to offer her expertise and experience.

We will be playing in the FAW Futsal tournament at under-11, under-12 and under-13 level in Cardiff on the 3rd and 4th of February. Good luck to all of the teams taking part next weekend!