u19 (002)At the Football Conference Youth Alliance AGM last week, the competition formally changed its’ name to the National League U19 Alliance. This new name brings the competition into line with its parent competition The National League with the rebrand having received the assent of The National League itself and The Football Association.

Chairman Wayne Allen commented “The name change will allow the competition to seize the opportunity to reframe a new set of dedicated rules as opposed to the previous Youth standardised rules which have caused a number of issues over the preceding years. It has been clear the League needs more clarity for its day to day operations and we sincerely hope the proposed key changes to our regulations will assist greatly with this”.

“The League will now be able to demonstrate that with the age group focused more at Under 19 level and with a full membership of 108 clubs for next season, not only will it determine that new applicants need to be of the highest quality, as defined by our membership criteria, it also places existing members on notice that the competition will continue to strive to enhance its unique position and reputation in the game and prevent any slippage in standards from those demanded by a national competition”.

For the forthcoming season the league will again be split into a number of regional divisions with the winners of each expected to participate in a playoff at the end of the season to decide the overall champions.

With new clubs entering the competition this year and others having left there has been some juggling of teams within the divisions and we have been placed in Division “C” next season. The full list of teams in our division is as follows:

AFC Sudbury Navy’s
Bishop’s Stortford
Boreham Wood Whites
Brentwood Town
Brightlingsea Regent
Chelmsford City
Ipswich Wanderers
Lowestoft Town
Luton Town Baldock

Scholarship Lead Co-ordinator Matt Clements had this to say on the new challenges ahead for our Scholars and how to build on the success of last year when our lads won the Division “C” title, the trophy for which was presented to Matt at the AGM (pictured above).

Matt Clements“This year we’ll have a new squad with new Scholars involved and I’m really looking forward to working with them all. The new division we’re in will be a challenge but I’m looking forward to it and for me it will be good to have a full pre-season with all of the players for the first time and we’ll be training together as one group every day for the first time as well which I think will be very beneficial too.  

The lads that will be going into their second year will continue to develop and we’ll be looking to make sure we do our best to help them in that development. Ultimately we’re looking to continue getting our Scholars in and around the first team squad and that opportunity and development pathway is key to what we’re all about here.”

The fixture list is due for release later in July with the season kicking off in September.