THE new head coach of Hereford FC Academy hopes to see local lads back playing in the club's first team, but admits it won't happen overnight.

Andy Bevan has taken on the role which will see him responsible for ‘coaching strategies throughout the academy, overseeing the work of all the coaches in the various age groups and working with Paul Quarrell, Academy Chairman, and the committee to plan and implement the future direction of the club’s player pathway'.

Bevan, a UEFA A Licenced qualified coach has managed the Herefordshire Junior Premier League Regional Talent Centre for the last four years, which has seen 38 youths signed to the academies of professional clubs.

The appointment came after Bevan resigned as first team manager at Westfields last month.

"I can't remember the last time I've been this excited," said Bevan.

"It came about so quickly after I resigned at Westfields and after a couple of days I got talking about the role and it's something I've always wanted to do from a youth standing and watching Hereford.

"I know that there are local kids good enough and 15 years ago I went into Graham Turner's office as I wanted to start an academy. Turner said that he had the pick of the youth from Wolves, West Brom and Aston Villa and I couldn't argue with that.

"I know from doing this thing that it takes time and it's not going to happen overnight. We will be looking at all aspects of the academy and our aim is to get youths through to the first team.

"I've been a coaching for 15 years but still make mistakes and that's what I tell the players that we either win or we learn.

"I have been meeting with Head of Football Tim Harris and the directors and you don't realise as a fan how much hard work they do behind the scenes and the amount of effort they put in.

"We want to move forwards and put together a plan from the under-eights through to under-18s, 23s and through to the senior team."

Bevan was part of the West Bromwich Albion Academy coaching staff before setting up the Herefordshire Junior Premier League Regional Talent Centre.

The centre has displayed the talents of the county's youngsters to professional academies across the country by fielding sides in the Junior Premier League.

Bevan added: "I know some of the lads can be good enough if they have the right work ethic, attitude and are given the right support network that the club are offering.

"If you treat these players right then they won't forget where they came from if they move up the system.

"These star players are out there and they are not easy to find. If it was easy then everybody would be doing it and you've got to be prepared to work for it.

"I'm really buzzing to get going."

Paul Quarrell, the Academy chairman said that Bevan’s experience will be ‘invaluable’ as they look at improving the academy.

He told the club's website: “We are really pleased to have Andy on board as he has a huge amount of knowledge that is going to prove invaluable as we look to continue to grow our academy.

“Everyone at the club is very proud of the way our academy is developing, but we know there are lots of areas for improvement. We are committed to making our academy the best it can be for everyone involved.

“Andy will bring with him the extra experience we need and having successfully run his own regional talent centre for a number of years, he has a level of understanding and organisational know-how that we will struggle to better. I am very much looking forward to working with him.

“Andy is already looking forward to getting to know the players once they have all enjoyed a well-deserved break, and I really do think this appointment means that even more exciting times lie ahead for our pathway teams."