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Play on! Two football youth league age divisions are saved

Camden and Regent’s Park Youth League’s Under-16s and Under-18s divisions will play at Chase Lodge in Barnet when the new campaign kicks off

29 June, 2017 — By Steve Barnett

STF Giants, who won the Under-18s title last season and will now be able to defend their crown

ORGANISERS from the Camden and Regent’s Park Youth League have saved their oldest age groups after revealing plans to move them to a new ground this summer.

There were fears the league was going to ditch their Under-16s and Under-18s divisions, with the demand for younger age categories eating into the limited space that they have available on Saturdays.

That would have meant that champions STF Giants, who won the Under-18s title last season, wouldn’t have had the chance to defend their crown, instead joining scores of teams left looking for football come September.

League co-ordinator Will Cave, who was part of the team that set up the league almost 18 years ago, said a solution has, however, been found, and that teams will now be playing at Chase Lodge in Barnet when the new campaign kicks off.

“We have limited space at Regent’s Park and the Under-16s and Under-18s are two age groups that we always struggle to fill, or that have a high drop-out, so we were considering dropping them,” he said.

“But we spoke to Diane Culligan from Hampstead Football Club, who are based at Chase Lodge, and we came to an agreement that we would play games there, which is great news.

“She was very supportive, and keen to ensure the ages continue, so we’re merging the two together in a bid to make a stronger division.”

Usually the league wraps up applications for the new season in June, but Will added that they are extended their entry deadline in a bid to give teams the chance to sign up for the new campaign.

“Thanks to the support that Diane has given us we’re able to make our combined Under-16s and Under-18s division cheap and accessible,” he said.

“We’re charging just £360 for the season. If you went elsewhere you would be paying about £70 a go.

“The games will be 11-vs-11, and played on a full-size pitch. With league and cup games we’re hoping teams will be playing around 30 games a season, which works out at around £12 a game. Divided between at least 14 players that’s less than a £1 a game.

“We want to revive the age group and make it as competitive as ever, so we’re calling on teams to come and join the action. It promises to be an exciting season and we want to get as many young people involved as possible.”

Any clubs interested in joining the Camden and Regent’s Park Youth League should email crpyl2000@gmail.com for more information.

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