Part 2 of an interview with the Endorsed Group’s Ezra Chapman

With the youth trials set for the weekend of July 8th and 9th (details below), Ezra Chapman of the Endorsed Group, sponsors of Mousehole AFC, continued to speak passionately about the club’s youth vision during his interview for The Cornishman:


“To achieve our goals, the junior levels (5-16) of our Youth policy are absolutely critical.  To realise our 5-10 year vision of real player development, we will be ensuring that right at the earliest ages boys and girls are getting the best coaching and experience.  We kick off with the 9, 10, 12 and 16 age groups this season, but this will quickly develop.

“The essential aspect of our youth policy is a an integrated playing philosophy that runs right through to the first team, including the elite programme for 16-23 year olds, with each age group having the latest coaching methods and technology suited to their age-related learning styles.”

“Jason Blunt, Academy Director, will co-host the trials alongside the coaching team, and he’ll subsequently work with the coaches for each group.  Engaging with the community is going to be key and Jason is also tasked with developing education partners, schools at different ages and a college, to work together to create uniformly high standards and maximise individual players’ development and potential.”

“Nike, our Club Partner, were also hugely enthusiastic about our youth vision.  They totally support our view that we want young kids and their parents to aspire to progress to the elite programme at age 16, and the best way to achieve this is to join the Programme at an earlier age so that they gain the long-term benefits of consistent coaching.”

“The next exciting phase is building relationships with Pro Clubs to enable our youth teams to play and compete at the highest level of challenge, so they know how high the bar is, and what they – and we – are all shooting for.”

  • Online applications for places at the forthcoming youth trials can be made via mouseholeafc/trials. The details of the trials, to be held at Mounts Bay Academy are:

Saturday 8th July, 12 noon – 5pm:  Under 12s and Under -1

Sunday 9th July, 9.30am – 2pm:  Under-9s and Under-10s

  • The club has entered four teams in the Kernow Youth Football League for next season, age groups as above.  Further trials for other age groups will be held in due course in order to complete coverage of the 5-16 age range.
Ezra chapman mousehole afc


The Endorsed Group, a global recruitment and software organisation led by a local lad Ezra Chapman, has signed off a 5-year sponsorship deal with Mousehole AFC.   The sponsorship funding will get the new Academy off the ground and invest in its leadership, cutting-edge technology and infrastructure.  Chapman, who was brought up a stone’s throw from the club’s Trungle Parc HQ in Paul, says:  “I can genuinely claim to be the most local of all local lads, having been born in the house nearest to the ground.  As a kid,  I was kicking a ball around Trungle Parc from about 3 years old and finally hung my boots up when I was about 40.”  He jokingly added: “Sadly, I never improved much!”

Endorsed Mousehole AFC

The 5-year deal underpins the launch of the club’s new plan, which is totally centred around player and youth development, and aims to build sustainable success using the latest modern coaching methods across the age range, developing local talent and a unique commitment to draw 66% of The Seagulls’ first team squad from its 16-23 elite programme.

Chapman, who is also an active advisor with the club, explained: “There is a tremendous energy at Mousehole AFC.  At Easter this year I had an inspiring chat with a number of progressive Committee members, and we began to construct a new 5-year plan embracing the club’s strengths, its culture, the community and a winning mentality.   To be able to support an initiative with the potential to have a such a huge impact on the community and benefit for local kids is hugely motivating.”

“But just as important as sponsoring the academy, I’m working with the club on other developments to ensure successful sustainability.  This is going to require a three-pronged approach:  the youth and player-development programme, integration with local education and other partners in the community, together with expanding our commercial model – with the Nike partnership being the first step.’”

“Our biggest investment will be in 16-23 year olds, where Jason Blunt – joining us from Leeds United – will personally manage them and help them become the best players they can be.  If they’ve “got it” he will get it out of them, that’s for sure.  Jason was the stand-out candidate for the post among applicants from pro clubs all around the world.  There is a huge gap in player development for the 16-23 age group, with nothing like our scheme outside of Pro Clubs in the South west of the UK.  We want young kids and their parents to aspire to get on to the Elite programme at 16.  The best way to achieve that will be to join our Academy at an earlier age, where they will benefit from age-related training styles, a footballing philosophy and pro standards that are absolutely consistent throughout, with all coaches being led and trained by Jason.”

“Being from Mousehole, passionate about the club and the local area, it’s an amazing feeling to be helping to bring this vision to life.”

With The Seagulls’ long-term plans taking shape, club Chairman Tim Richardson expressed his delight with the 5-year sponsorship agreement:  “This is huge.  We’ve tasted success and we want more.  But this time round there’s a shift in direction, focusing on youth and player development.  We know it’s going to take time but we all totally believe in our player-orientated strategy for the longer term.  Off the field, we’ve got a range of major initiatives in the pipeline, which, when they come to fruition, will enable us to develop faster.  We thank the Endorsed Group and Ezra for helping us get there.  This is just the start.  Watch this space.”

  • Mousehole AFC have announced details of trials to be held at Mounts Bay Academy, with online applications via www.mouseholeafc.co.uk/trials
    • Elite Programme (16-23 year olds):  Saturday 1st July, 12 – 5pm
    • Under-12s and under-16s:  Saturday 8th July, 12 – 5pm
    • Under-9s and under-10s:  Sunday 9th July, 9.30am – 2pm


Global sports brand Nike have confirmed that Mousehole AFC will be the first club in Cornwall to achieve NIKE PARTNER CLUB STATUS, after extensive meetings to explore the club’s innovative plans to establish an Academy, as announced last week.

nike partner club mousehole afc

Jason Blunt, incoming Head of the new Academy, and the Elite Player Performance Programme, said:  “It’s extremely impressive for a worldwide ‘giant’ like Nike to develop a relationship with a football club at this level, but they can clearly see and are excited about the huge potential in the club’s plans.  I am absolutely delighted at this link-up.  It gives massive status to the Academy and will ensure the highest standards and provide a consistent identity throughout the club – for example, all Mousehole teams will play in the newly-designed Nike kit.  It also provides value and a real opportunity to the local sponsors of Mousehole AFC, who can leverage their own brands off the club’s association with the global prestigious Nike brand.  It’s a great way to get the Elite programme off the ground, with the trials coming up soon.”

Ben Kitlocker, representing the Nike Partnership, was enthusiastic about Mousehole AFC’s new partner status:  “Its an exciting and forward- thinking plan to integrate the Elite Player Performance Programme into their first team squad.”

The club has confirmed the next step for the Elite Player Performance Programme.  Trials will be held for 16-23 year olds on Saturday 1st July, with further details announced on the Mousehole AFC website in due course.

The 12 successful participants will then receive Jason Blunt as their full time coach. The select 12 will have group performance training and multiple technical one-on-one coaching sessions each week focusing on performance, technique, nutrition, psychology and education, using the latest world-class technology, video and data analysis, sport science and footballing resources available to the club.

The club’s newly-declared policy is that 66% of the First team squad will come from the Elite group of 16-23 year olds.



Mousehole AFC have announced that multi-qualified goalkeeping coach Matt George (pictured) has joined the new coaching set-up at the club.

Matt Geaorge joins Mousehole AFC

Chairman Tim Richardson was full of enthusiasm for the new appointment:  “As evidence of the interest and excitement generated by our new Academy, we’ve been able to attract to the club a top-class goalkeeping coach in Matt George.  Matt has coaching experience in the Peninsula League and with county, regional and international representative youth teams.  He’s got a UEFA ‘B’ Coaching Licence and an FA Goalkeeping Coaching ‘B’ Licence, and is also a qualified FA Goalkeeping Coach Education Tutor and an England Schools FA under-18 Goalkeeping Coach.  He will coach across the whole of our new team structure, including EPPP, First team and right through to the 5-year olds.  We cannot think of a better person to carry out this role.”

Steve Parker-Billinge, Mousehole’s player-manager and First team goalkeeper, added:  “I’ve got first-hand experience of Matt’s coaching and I am one of many who regard him as undoubtedly the best goalkeeping coach in the region.”

42-year old George, who is also a sports lecturer at Penwith College, said:  “What particularly attracts me is Mousehole’s great vision for the future.  I’m delighted to be joining this exciting development project and playing a part in taking the club forward both on and off the pitch…..and I can’t wait to get started.”



In a significant pioneering initiative, Mousehole AFC are to set up a world class long-term player development Academy and Elite Player Performance Programme, the first part of the club’s innovative and ambitious 5-year plan announced last week, and have moved quickly to pull off a major coup in appointing Jason Blunt (Leeds United) as full-time Head of the new Academy.

Jason Blunt Mousehole AFC

Newlyn-born Jason Blunt (pictured) is joining the Academy from Championship club Leeds United, where he has been a Premiership player and is currently under-23s manager, to lead the new Academy at Mousehole and implement a unique Elite Player, youth and development programme.

The Academy will have an Elite Player Performance Programme for players aged 16–23, together with a junior team structure from 5 to 16 years, and is an integral part of Mousehole AFC’s vision for longer-term sustainable success.  Under the club’s new footballing philosophy, 66% of The Seagulls’ First team squad will be Elite development players aged 16-23.  The principle underpinning the club’s ambition to progress up the leagues is to develop its own talent rather than to buy in short-term success.


New-look Reserves in valuable win

New-look Reserves invaluable win

Mousehole Reserves came into the match in last-but-one place in the league table but knew that a win would enable them to climb above their visitors two places above and provide a welcome boost to player-manager Harry Tonkin’s re-built side after a month in which half the players have been successfully promoted into the first team squad.

Continue reading “New-look Reserves in valuable win”