Welcome to season 2013/2014 which is the start of a new era for the Kent Youth League. As the newly appointed Chief Executive I am very proud to take this role and I believe that the League offers you all a fantastic opportunity to show case your footballing talents in some of the best facilities that are available to young players.
This coming season we are providing football for 172 teams, across 17 Divisions from Under 13 to Under 18. That will mean in excess of 3,500 players that will be registered to play football from September to May. We are also continuing with our Premier Division at Under 18 age group, which rewards those clubs who offer their first team facility to their Under 18s, to include having a floodlight facility so games can be played midweek. Premier Division 1 will also have 3 match officials for every game.
I am very fortunate to have a group of Committee Members who work tirelessly to ensure that we maintain the very high standards that we set. Please work with my colleagues to make our job fun and it is after all our hobby and not our work but we are all very passionate about it.
The League is delighted to continue its relationship with Charlton Athletic. Charlton will provide tickets for the League over the season, and clubs who have the best sportmanship marks in the age groups will be invited to join us at The Valley next season.
In addition, Nike UK will continue their sponsorship of the League. They will provide every team with 2 match balls for the start of the season, as well as working with a number of players across the season on boot development and other projects. This is something that we want to continue with and develop further.
Our website is the heartbeat of the League. You will find many articles through the season which I hope will be of interest. We cover all of our fixtures for each age group and division on the site, as well as the Kent, London and Surrey County Cups, The FA Youth Cup and the involvement of our under 18 clubs in the competition, the South East Counties Championship which will follow the progress of our Representative teams for both Kent and London, and the FA County Youth Cup.
My thanks to Headley Brothers and Jenny Prentice who maintain and look after the website for us.
Last season, our clubs provided players for the Kent FA Representative squads at under 16 and under 18 to participate in the South East Counties Championship. Our Under 16s won the trophy for the 4th time in 6 seasons. Our Under 18s came runners-up. My personal thanks to the clubs and the players for their support.
This season, the League will be focusing on discipline and I have set up a specific Disciplinary Committee to act on reports that we receive about the misbehaviour of the adults at games! We will have a number of people attending games on a Sunday, if we are alerted to any individuals who appear not be respecting the Respect campaign. As Team Managers, Players and Parents, you all sign the codes of conducts provided by your clubs. If you choose to act outside of those codes, then I will look forward to seeing you during next season!
I would like to take the opportunity of wishing all our teams every success for the coming season and I hope you enjoy the season. I cannot wait for the Premier League to start as my beloved Crystal Palace will be enjoying a least one season in the promised land!!
I really enjoy coming out to watch games on a Sunday. The standard and quality of football and matches is second to none in Youth football. I look forward to meeting many of you across the season. Good luck to you all.