Ahead of another exciting, new season which will see hundreds upon hundreds of talented young players across the county compete, the Kent Youth League is delighted to announce the first of our major 2018/19 sponsors.
Stagecoach South East is part of the Stagecoach Group and is one of the main bus operators in Kent.
They operate local bus services across the county and their services play an important role in helping people in rural and urban areas access work, education, health, shopping and leisure.
Thanks to Stagecoach’s generous support, each of our 199 League teams will be gifted a Nike match ball.
Kent Youth League Chief Executive, Ken Brooke expressed both his delight and gratitude to Stagecoach.
“I am delighted to confirm an initial one-year sponsorship deal with Stagecoach for season 2018-19. Stagecoach have kindly agreed to purchase a Nike match ball for each team in the League which is a great idea to support all clubs and teams across the County.”
“Stagecoach are celebrating 25 years as a business in the county and I would like to thank Matthew and his excellent marketing team for making this possible. It is fantastic recognition for the League.”
“I wish also to thank Colin and Terry from the League’s team for their part in making this happen. We look forward to an excellent year with Stagecoach as a major sponsor.”
Stagecoach Commercial Director, Matthew Arnold added;
“In the wake of an historic world cup effort from England, nothing unites and inspires people like the game of football.”
“The Kent Youth League is a fantastic endeavour which brings young people together, empowering them in their communities to achieve.”
“At Stagecoach we’ve been serving Kent’s communities for 25 years and we’re excited to have the opportunity to sponsor the League for the 2018-19 season, providing a match ball for each of the 199 teams across the county.”
Would you like to team up with the Kent Youth League this season? Get in touch!
Former Kent Youth League striker, Louis Collins, achieved something most young players across our League dream of: signing a 2 year scholarship at Scunthorpe United.
Having learned his bread and butter playing in the Kent Youth League, where Louis picked up the prestigious golden boot award – not once, but twice – we caught up with him to find out what life as a promising young pro is like.
Going right back to the beginning, Louis said:
“I started playing football when I was five years old. I went into my school football team and then played for Sevenoaks from u11s to u12s. I then got picked up by Millwall FC and signed for them after a six-week trial. I was at Millwall from u13s to u14s.”
“When I was there we won the national cup. I left there and went to Ebbsfleet U15s playing in the South Division. I was there for a year and scored 47 goals in 23 games. The next season I went to Bromley in the North Division which proved to be slightly harder, I finished top goal scorer and we won the league.”
“After that I was on trial at Charlton for six weeks and had the choice to go to Scunthorpe for a trial and signed for them as a scholar.”
The Kent Youth League proved to be a valuable platform for Louis, who looks back fondly on the seasons he enjoyed playing across the county.
“My first team in the KYL was Ebbsfleet. I had just come out of academy football and was looking to get my confidence back up and start enjoying my football more, this helped me to improve and score more goals as the season went on.”
“The next season I pushed to challenge myself a little more and played in the north league. This involved a little more travelling but was well worth it, as it added that physically aspect to my game that also allowed me to improve and score more goals.”
Louis’ goal-scoring in the League saw him pick up the KYL’s Golden Boot award for two consecutive years. It was an achievement that set the tone for Louis’ future ambitions.
“The first year I won the golden boot, it elevated me to make me want to win it a second year running. This definitely made me a lot more ambitious and confident that I can score more goals than the year before.”
“I think it put me in a better position going forward and gave me something else to look and work for to succeed in. It is good to be competitive as it can give you an extra push towards the final result and allows you to enjoy it a lot more”
All Louis’ hard-work and travelling led to a two-year scholarship deal in the Football League and he credits the experience within the League to assisting him settle back into life at a professional club.
“I had been at a professional club before but the years I spent in the Kent Youth League were vital for me to get my confidence up and start enjoying my football properly. Going from this back into a professional set up was ideal for me and was what those years I worked hard led to.”
“The leap can be quite big if you are not familiar but not if you work as hard as other players and make yourself to be better than them.”
Living his dream of learning day in day out, Louis’ hard work within the game shows no signs of stopping.
“At the moment I am building my own skills that I would like to take into professional football, a dream is to play as high as possible but an aim for me is to be in professional football full time soon.”
“When I first went into the Kent Youth League, I felt like being a professional footballer was so far away because I had started the journey that every big football player has ever started. The main way I felt that made me the player I am today was in my mind I wanted it more than anyone else and had no doubt that I would do it.”
“Now I am one big step closer to getting that end goal because I didn’t give up in those years and enjoyed my football to an extent where it made me better.”
“I would say to other players make sure you enjoy your football and learn new things to adapt your game to become the best you can be.”
With sound advice like that, we’re sure young Louis’ promising football career offers lots of inspiration to other young players across the League.
We look forward to watching Louis’ career progress with great pride.
The Kent Youth League is delighted to announce it will be sponsor of the South East Counties Youth Championship at U16 and U18 Representative football for another season.
The League is dedicated to supporting any opportunities for young players to develop and enjoy their football which made the decision to renew sponsorship a relatively easy one for Chief Executive Ken Brooke, who said:
“I’m delighted to announce the Kent Youth League will be sponsoring the South East Counties Youth Championship for another season. The League passionately believes in supporting opportunities for young players to progress and this competition is a prime example of one of the most successful methods.”
“My committee and I look forward to attending matches and keeping a keen eye on the progress made by teams across the age groups. I wish everyone involved a successful and enjoyable season with the Kent Youth League’s full-hearted support behind them.”
Pre-season is a key time for players of all ages and abilities, in and out of the professional game, to prepare physically and mentally for the campaign ahead.
Former Kent Youth League player and now professional goalkeeper at Gillingham FC, Tom Hadler works for Rob Horswell Training and is offering KYL teams the chance to have the best preparation possible.
Tom and a team of highly qualified Strength and Conditioning coaches are supplying and delivering sessions to teams across Kent.
Whilst helping players, they provide support to coaches who utilise their expertise to get the best out of their pre-season work.
They have devised a pre-season package to support KYL clubs across the grassroots and professional game, adult to youth, who want to hit the ground running.
The package includes a structured programme to cover the whole of pre-season; pay £250 for 5 sessions to be delivered to your team of up to 20 players.
Sessions will be devised to match the age of groups and teams, planned around the five basic principles:
Besides planning sessions, the team deliver and ensure participants are given correct nutritional information focused on:
Key age groups
Health and wellbeing
Tom and other trainers at Rob Horswell Training have worked with professional and semi-professional teams including Gillingham FC and Maidstone United.
To make an initial enquiry, please contact Tom Hadler via email at email@example.com or phone on 07807093473
*Sessions to be used by 11 August
The Kent Youth League is looking to recruit Under 13s teams from the League to perform ball boy duties at Priestfield Stadium for the 2018/19 season.
If your team would like to express an interest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org