Former Aldershot and Shrewsbury Town defender Ben Herd is looking forward to playing his part in shaping the future of Dunstable Town.
The 29-year-old has been placed in charge of the new academy to open at Creasey Park and can’t wait to get it up and running.
He said: I’ve always thought about it and long term this is what I want to do.
“It’s something I’m really enthusiastic to get up and started and gives me the chance to shape a football club, stamp a philosophy of how we want to go about it and what we want to do.
“The club is going somewhere and have got a real firm plan of where they want to get to and how they want to get there.
“It gives me the chance to get my teeth into something I’ve always wanted to do which is try and change how kids are taught to play the game.”
Herd is now turning his attention to the next generation of footballers at Dunstable and hopes to start a conveyor belt of talent to play for the Blues’ first team. He added: “It’s going to take time to get it up to full capacity, but no doubt we’ll get there and hopefully have a conveyor belt of good local talent coming through.
“We’re trying to bring players through into Dunstable’s first team and there’s no reason why a club like this with the catchment area its got, plus the facilities, to really unearth some gems.
“Luton have got the history and the name, but there might be kids out there who aren’t quite for them.
“Maybe they’ll come over to Dunstable and see the career progression, because every kid wants to be a professional footballer, especially at a young age.
“So many players drop out of the game at 15/16, go to the lower leagues and play, and the environment’s right and the timing’s right for them they take off again.
“If you look at Andre Gray as a prime example. I played with him at Shrewsbury, was never good enough there to come and play, but then he went to Hinckley. Ian Wright, Kevin Phillips was at Baldock Town, there’s so many players who miss the boat at 16.”
On just how he plans to achieve his goals, Herd added: “We want to be as elite as we can be, there will be a required standard and we will be putting on some trial days for kids to come along, and then take it from there.
“It will be a different sort of training and I’m really geared towards amalgating futsal and football.
“To me it’s simple really, I want kids to be masters of the football, technically sound, take players on and create an environment where they can really thrive.
“They’ll be coached by good quality coaches and it will be run as a professional set-up.
“They will learn football skills but hopefully teach them life skills to take to their school work to become better rounded individuals too.”