When HUCKNALL WARRIORS gather for their annual presentation ceremony tonight (Friday), pride of place will almost certainly go to the club’s under-18s.
For the team are bowing out from youth football after a proud ten-year reign.
“It is quite a remarkable achivement for so many players to stay together for so long and show that level of loyalty and commitment,” said Paul Burley, who is club chairman and also under-18s’ manager.
“We have one player, Liam Burley, who has not missed a single league match in all of those ten years, while Regan Scott has missed only four.
“Both players, and all those who joined more recently, have been a pleasure to work with.
“It’s a crying shame that Notts FA doesn’t support youth football up to the age of 21, as some counties do, because the team would definitely carry on.
“Instead, so many players leave grassroots football at the age of 18.”
The Warriors team started as a wide-eyed under-eights’ outfit back in 2004. As well as Burley and Scott, two more founder players, Tyler Stafford and Lewis Nixon, have been there for the ten-year duration, each playing more than 300 games. Alex Galloway has played for nine years and Andreas Kokkinou for seven.
Warriors stage their presentation night at the John Godber Centre. Formed in 2006, they also run teams at under-nine, under-12, under-14 and under-15 levels.
Adds Burley: “Football is a great vehicle for the development of youngsters, not just to be better players but to be better people too.
“Teamwork, discipline, fitness and communication are just some of the benefits lads take from being part of a team into their adult lives.
“It’s been a great experience working with this under-18s’ side. So much so that the pressure is now on for Hucknall Warriors to introduce an adult team or under-21 team to provide somewhere for players to move on to after reaching the end of their youth football at 18.”