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East Grinstead Town F.C. Youth Section News

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:: Saturday 2nd March 2013 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
FOOTIE FUN DAY 2013

The date for this year's Footie Fun Day at our East Court ground is Sunday 5th May.

This year's soccer festival will again be open to teams between the ages of 7 and 10.

Closing date for entries is 22nd March 2013.

Click here for invitation or for further information please contact Michelle Putner

:: Saturday 8th April 2006 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
As we approach the final weeks of the junior season, our teams have had a mixed bag of fortune from success in reaching cup finals and championships to staving off the ignominy of relegation. The Under 16s managed by Mark Legget look forward to the Crowborough League cup final against County Cup runners-up Eastbourne Borough to be played at Ringmer's ground. Mark has been ably assisted this term by first team regular Ben Burns, and together they've not only reached the cup final but have established themselves comfortably in the league after a lethargic start.

Both U15s teams have struggled to maintain form this season and despite some heroics in the cup competitions they've both failed to reach their true potential in the highly competitive Tandridge and Horsham leagues. However, knowing the calibre of the players both Bobby Smith and Gary Wilsher have in their squads and the quality of both coaches I'm sure their league positions belie the efforts of both teams.

At U14s Dave Mann's boys have finished in a creditable fourth place having completed their programme with a 3-0 reverse to Old Town Boys, however they can be proud of finishing the season in the top half. In the Tandridge league A Division, East Grinstead Town Under 13s battled throughout and ran out deserved winners over third placed Chipstead who have lost only 2 games in 2006. This was an excellent win and with 2 games left has ensured the Wasps juniors finish in a very respectable mid-table position. Ian Watt's U13 Colts can be pleased with their season consolidating the progress they've made over the past year, if anything this team have played with a smile and seem to really have enjoyed their season.

Simon Parret's U12s excellent promotion push took on another dimension by taking the points with a 3-1 win at home to Forest Row. The win puts them in second place with one game to go and a shout of the title. Martin Byrne's U11s have had a difficult season but their late rally and return to form continued with a hard fought draw away to St Martins in Horsham League Division A. Martin is on the lookout for one or two players to strengthen squad. Training is on a Tuesday at Mount Noddy (Lower Tier) from 5pm to 7pm which will continue throughout the summer. The Under 11’s is managed by two FA Level 1 coaches. Please contact Martin Byrne on 01342 322708 for more details.

Our two small-sided teams the U9s managed by Kay Benniman and the U10s run by Mark Jordan continue to enjoy their football and look forward to the step-up next season, especially the U10s who'll play the full-sided game.

Finally, we are hosting our annual kids tournament at East Court on Saturday 6 May. We need helpers and doers, please let me know if you can help to stage this worthwhile and fun event.

MARTIN HILL – VICE CHAIRMAN (YOUTH SECTION)

:: Tuesday 28th March 2006 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
The Crowborough League cancelled all their fixtures last weekend due to Mother's Day, although I applaud the gesture it leaves a headache for our U16s who are in danger of having their season roll in to May due to a backlog of fixtures caused by postponements and their excellent runs in both the league and county cups! Although they faltered at the quarter-final stage in the county cup, a final awaits them next weekend (Sunday 9 April) at Ringmer where they take on Eastbourne Borough in the League cup competition. If anyone is interested in watching the cup final, juniors get in for free. An entrance fee of £2 is charged for adults (£1 for senior citizens and students), but does entitle access to three games on one day at Ringmer. Kick-off is at 3.30 pm and it's bound to be an exciting encounter against one of the best clubs in the county. If anything it's a great opportunity to see our oldest junior age group in action with a chance of winning some silverware. Full details can be found at www.cdjfl.co.uk.

Last weekend saw a mixed bag of fortune with our U13s, 15s and 16 losing to tough opposition, however our U12s maintained their push for promotion with a great 2-1 win over rivals Albury Eagles. With two games to go they need at least 4 points to almost guarantee promotion providing Old Dorkinians don't manage a goal avalanche in their favour. The U11s continue to turn their season round with a 3-3 draw against the well fancied St Martins outfit which will help boost confidence for next season's campaign.

This Saturday our U12s promotion charge continues with a local derby at home to Forest Row on Mount Noddy, whilst Gary Wilsher's U15 Colts face an ever-improving Reigate Priory. On Sunday the U16s warm-up for the cup final by welcoming Seal Juniors to East Court, whilst we host two home fixtures on King George's Field with Bobby Smith's U15s meeting Seymour Villa at 10.00 followed by Alan Evans U13s against Chipstead.

It's opportune to mention the excellent plaudit Alan's team received from rivals and league leaders manager Arnie Reynolds of Waterloo FC. "Just writing to say thank you for your hospitality you showed us when we played you and your outstanding sportsmanship both home and away. It was a pleasure to have you at our ground and it's good to see a team doing things the right way, i.e. when your parents applauded our boys, who were really choked and chuffed, as what they usually receive is abuse. Your boys are a credit to you, also both players and parents are a credit to the Tandridge League and youth football. Yours in sport, best wishes from all at Waterloo FC" A great tribute to one of our team's in a season that has witnessed some of the unsavoury aspects of junior football at all levels, it helps restore ones balance that we are here to enjoy the game rather than work tirelessly to abuse it. I'm sure Wasps followers will join me in congratulating everyone in Alan's set-up for this marvellous accolade to our club.

Finally, we are hosting our annual kids tournament at East Court on Saturday 6 May. We need helpers and doers, please let me know if you can help to stage this worthwhile and fun event please let me know.

MARTIN HILL – VICE CHAIRMAN (YOUTH SECTION)

:: Tuesday 21st March 2006 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
It was pleasing to hear that one of our junior players made the jump up to the third team squad last weekend and scored. Clubs like ours that have a large junior football set-up need to have an outlet to retain our more adept players and encourage them their is a future in senior football at EGTFC. The transition from 'kids' football to the adult game can be quite daunting and although we are well catered for in Mick Buckingham's excellent Under 18 set-up we also need to ensure we have the additional facility for those who make step-up to adult football. A case example is the progress players like Steven Major and Adam Dart have made and the contribution they make to the first team. Credit must go to Bobby Smith and his management team for their foresight in bringing our best players through the ranks and I know for a fact that many parents encourage their lads to join our club for that very reason. However, running a third team is a costly business in terms of both effort and cash and without the necessary support, this grounding team for hopefully many youngsters can easily get into difficulties. Like all teams they need help on match days, if you can spare some time to help the thirds please let me know.

On the football front our U15s managed by Bobby Smith and Phil Major had an excellent 3-1 victory over Junior Sports from Bromley last Sunday to ease their relegation worries. Not so true for our U15 Colts who lost at home to Hurstpierpoint and face a real dogfight to avoid the drop. Elsewhere, Mark Leggett's U16s coached by Ben Burns must have an eye on their league cup final as they yielded 2-0 to Hailsham. Performance of the week must go to Martin Byrne's U11s who recorded their first league victory for some time with an pulsating 4-3 home win against Henfield. Simon Parret's U12s travelled all the way down to Billingshurst and come back 6-2 winners to keep them firmly in the promotion mix. Ian Watts U13 Colts must be pleased to have come back from promotion candidates Ashington with the points courtesy of hat-trick hero Josh Smith. Alan Evans U13s recent run of good results came to an abrupt end when they travelled to Croydon and were defeated by six goals to two and who now join Wasps in a respectable mid table position.

Please don't forget we host our annual Footie Fun Day tournament here at East Court on Saturday 6 May, if you can lend us a hand on the day it'll be appreciated please let me know. After all the trials and tribulations of a busy season it can be heart warming to see all those budding young premiership dreaming hopefuls playing on the first team pitch. Finally, we are on the lookout for new teams to join the club, especially at U8 and U9 level. If you feel you can contribute to running a side please let me know, we'll give you all the support you need to get started.

MARTIN HILL – VICE CHAIRMAN (YOUTH SECTION)

:: Saturday 18th March 2006 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Our Under 15 Colts cup dreams were dashed in a pulsating semi-final at Capel, going down 5-3 in extra time goals coming from Jamie Hill, Lawrence Marks and the effervescent Josh Breeze. Gary Wilsher's boys can count themselves unlucky not be representing the club at Broadbridge Heath Stadium next month after storming in to an early two goal lead only to find themselves pegged back by normal time. What makes the result even more remarkable is that fact the team were missing four first team regulars and were forced to play their third choice 'keeper. Nevertheless, it was great display of character and commitment but alas for little rub of the green things may have been different. The cup exit allows Colts to concentrate on retaining their A division status as they approach the run-in in the drop-zone.

Elsewhere, the U16s gained a creditable point against Sussex Cup runners-up Eastbourne Borough, whilst Alan Evans U13s travelled to Addington in the Tandridge League A division, and came away with the points following a 4 - 2 victory, goals from Max Davie, Luke Collins and 2 from leading marksmen Brett Caiger securing the victory. David Mann's U14s produced a truly five star display to against a valiant Crowborogh Athletic side with a hatrick performance from Mann and 1 a piece for Thiselton and Collins. Simon Parrett's U12s remain second in the Horsham League despite losing 2-1 at Partridge Green, that defeat keeps them 3 points from the leaders Twin Oaks with four games remaining each. A disappointing 4-1 reverse at Selsdon leaves Bobby Smith's U15s second from bottom and facing a relegation dogfight.

The effects of satellite TV contracts dictating kick-off times to satisfy the already over-hyped media coverage of our national sport reverberates even at youth team level. Over the past weeks I've listened to a number of our managers quite-rightly bemoan the loss of players to early weekend kick-offs in the Premiership. I understand the Police bringing games forward to lessen the possibility of alcohol-fuelled hooliganism, and the kids wanting to support their team, but every weekend we seem to have a pay-per-view game on the box at some ridiculous time of day. I'm no different to the majority of fans by enjoying a match on my sofa or barstool, but why do we have to have live TV games at weekend lunchtimes? I also understand when a hefty amount is paid for tickets there is a conflict of commitments but when I hear of teams missing players for an important fixture because TV money has dictated another silly kick-off time I wonder if the traditional 3 pm Saturday kick-off is well and truly a thing of the past. This season I've kept my money in my pocket and opted out of PPV matches, instead I watch them on Internet streams from the Far East for nothing, if anything my grasp of mandarin is improving! On the other side of the coin, TV money continues to filter down to grass-roots level via the Football Foundation (UK's largest sports charity, a partnership funded by The Premier League, The FA and the Government), who've assisted this club over the past few years, but I'd really like to see matches televised at sensible times thus allowing us who help manage the sport at junior level to do so without the headache of losing players week in week out.

MARTIN HILL – VICE CHAIRMAN (YOUTH SECTION)

:: Tuesday 7th March 2006 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Wasps of the Future

OUR under-16s, under the guidance of manager Mark Leggett and coach Ben Burns of first-team fame, roared into the final of the Crowborough League Cup with a tremendous 2-1 victory over champions elect Hastings Town last Sunday at East Court.

Despite conceding with 18 minutes remaining on the clock, young Wasps battled back to level the tie through a Michael Belli goal. With skipper Dan Snape resolute at the heart of defence, the boys pressed on and some excellent wing work from Dean Coomber produced an exquisite cross for Belli to head home for his brace with seconds remaining.

Take nothing away from this victory, Hastings aren't top of the league and heading for the title for no reason. Their movement and pace created headaches and they can count themselves unfortunate not be heading for the final at Ringmer on Sunday 9 April but for some important saves from 'keeper Scott Owens. You may remember young Scott has been sponsored by the club for specialist goalkeeping coaching under club coach Paul Wadham. I'm delighted that the club committee, in particular chairman Richard Tramontin and vice-chairman Bruce Talbot had the vision to earmark club funds to improve junior players and that vision is paying off with a modicum of success at junior level. It would be unfair of me to single out any players from the under-16s on their successful cup campaign to date as it was a supreme team effort, but the heroics of Snape and Belli were rewarded with both boys being invited to sample the Under 18 set-up this week and accompany the team to their fixture at Worthing, which was unfortunately postponed.

Hopefully their involvement at the upper echelon may witness an appearance for the U18s by the end of the season.

Not everyone is aware that the Under 18s come under the auspices of the senior club and I am encouraged that we are faithfully following the club policy of retaining our junior players with the transition from junior to senior sections of the club. I'm sure it will be a great experience for the lads to be followed by many of their teammates in the coming year. In the other semi-final, the match between Eastbourne Borough and Forest Row was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Elsewhere, the under-13s travelled to Selsdon and came away with a thoroughly deserved 2-0 victory consolidating their league position in the ultra-competitive and superbly organised Tandridge League. This coming Saturday, Gary Wilsher's Under-15 Colts travel to Capel in the League Plate competition knowing victory will propel them in to their first major final to be played at Broadbridge Heath stadium at the end of April. The Under-13 Colts, who are riding high in second place in the Horsham League, face Partridge Green knowing a victory could see them leapfrog over leaders Twin Oaks.

Fingers crossed that we could be holding a few receptions in the clubhouse at the end of the season celebrating the success at junior level. Nevertheless, it's not all about cups and glory and whatever the outcome every player that has donned a Wasps shirt this season has done so proudly and been a credit to this ‘grand old club.’

We are looking to recruit some new teams for next season, especially at under-8s and 9s so if you fancy picking up the baton of management or know someone who's eager to get into junior football please don't hesitate contacting me, I'd love to hear from you.

I understand the Year 12 (Under-17s) at Sackville School have reached the final of the Sussex Schools Cup. I'll attempt to find out more and pen an update soon, but I know a number of junior Wasps are involved including some who are playing a year up from their age group.

Finally, we are hosting our annual kids tournament at East Court on Saturday 6 May. We need helpers and doers, please let me know if you can help to stage this worthwhile and fun event.

MARTIN HILL – VICE CHAIRMAN (YOUTH SECTION)

:: Wednesday 1st March 2006 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
The weather has bitten in to our junior teams fixtures and as we head towards the last full two months of the season many of our teams face a backlog which will necessitate the odd one or two midweek games in the spring twilight. I know the junior managers at the younger age groups will be looking forward to playing these games but it's worth sparing a thought for the older teams as they'll need to balance fulfilling fixtures with GCSE and mock exams pulling at the resources of their personnel. It does beg the question on whether we should play more youth football on artificial surfaces, especially in the winter months. The Chairman asked me recently to canvass the views of the County FA and the Leagues our teams play in. It was surprising to note from their responses that artificial surfaces in the first part of the 21st century are still viewed with suspicion and none of the governing bodies we affiliate to could give a definitive answer. Although personally, I am a self-confessed purist and subscribe to the ethos that the beautiful game should be played on lush turf, it's a commodity that can be hard to find post-October, and question the value playing the game as it should be played on mud and come the spring on dust. Nevertheless, as our managers do to their credit they find a way to fulfil their commitments thus avoiding fines and the inevitable relegation, promotion and championship issues that abound about now.

Last Saturday I was unfortunate to witness a couple of the bad things that are creeping in to junior football from the TV saturated Premiership. One of our teams was asked to host a match as their opponents pitch was unplayable. Our manager gracefully agreed to host the game and made the necessary arrangements even offering to pay for a referee. Our guests suggested they use a 'qualified referee' on their staff. What transpired during the passage of the encounter can only be described as heartbreaking for all those who still hold the majesty of the game to their hearts. Suffice to say it would be ill-advised of me to narrate the details in this peerless journal and attract the unwelcome wrath of those who act as guardians to our national sport but the governing bodies must take responsibility to ensure those who manage and officiate at this level do so in order to educate, encourage and promote the game, not allowing the antics of over hyped football celebrities to filter into the kids behaviour.

This weekend our U11s host Barns Green on Noddy, whilst our U13 Colts welcome Albury Eagles to East Court. However, pick of the weekend is the Crowborough League Cup semi-final clash on Sunday between our U16s and high-flyers Hastings Youth on East Court 1. Although, we were on the wrong side of a 3-1 result last weekend against the same team, it has to be said the atrocious weather conditions did not help us. I am sure Mark Legget's boys will be very hard to beat on home soil and will relish the chance of a cup final appearance.Finally, we are hosting our annual kids tournament at East Court on Saturday 6 May. We need helpers and doers, please let me know if you can help to stage this worthwhile and fun event.

Martin Hill

:: Wednesday 8th February 2006 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Despite our teams crashing out of the Sussex Cup, we still make progress in the league cups with both the Under 16s and Under 15 Colts battling their way through to respective semi-finals. Gary Wilsher's Colts thoroughly dominated their encounter against near neighbours Lingfield and are now 80 minutes away from their first ever final. At the time of writing we are yet to discover the opponents, suffice to say it'll be a tough encounter but a home draw should suit to make that appointment at Broadbridge Stadium on Sunday 30 April - fingers crossed. Mark Leggett's U16s won an enthralling match against Tonbridge and now face Hastings at home on Sunday 5 March.

Although, they suffered a sluggish start to the season they are now firing on all cylinders. What is encouraging is some of the quality players coming up the ranks to join the senior section next season as Under 18s. It bodes well for the club and it's testimony to managers like Mark for all the effort they've put in over the years. I'm pleased to say with the backing of the Management Committee there is a real retention policy at this club with the continued existence of the third team and Phil Major's stewardship of the reserves who has bloodied a number of youth players over the season.

As well as Mark Leggett, there is a whole army of dedicated managers, assistants and helpers at youth level. One name that is worth mentioning is club stalwart Guy Gentry who will be hanging up his coaching boots after what will be 9 years as a manager. Speaking to Guy I know he well be glad to avoid those early Saturday mornings at Mount Noddy and East Court putting up nets etc. But he will miss it all very much, especially the camaraderie of the lads and Stowie his fellow coach.

No finer accolade of Guy's efforts came from Chairman Richard Tramontin, who said of Guy "people don't often recognise the time and effort that people like Guy devote for the benefit of all the kids that want to play football. People are always in your face when things don't run smoothly and they have a problem, but quiet at other times. I am certainly not alone in thanking Guy for all his years of effort and devotion in terms of not only developing his side through the various age groups, but also his roles as Horsham League Secretary, Youth co-ordinator, commercial activities, quiz master and not forgetting glowie man, oh and of course EGTFC Vets player...!"

Guy's departure from the youth section leaves a vacancy for the Horsham League Secretary, which will be taken up by Ian Watts U13 Colts manager. We thank Ian for taking up the appointment and wish him every success.

In the next update I hope to give a precise of our league form going in to the final couple of months of the youth season and the ups and downs of our teams. Finally, we are hosting our annual kids tournament at East Court on Saturday 6 May. We need helpers and doers, please let me know if you can help to stage this worthwhile and fun event.

Martin Hill

:: Wednesday 18th January 2006 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Our Sussex Cup dreams are over for another year as our last four remaining survivors crashed out in a dramatic fashion. Mark Leggett's Under 16s lost a highly competitive match against Hove Rivervale on penalties. Despite carrying the game to our south-coast rivals for much of the encounter, Wasps couldn't find the killer touch to propel them in to the quarter-finals but fairplay to Hove they withstood the onslaught and proved to be more accurate from 12 yards then our boys. The Bobby Smith - Phil Major management combo couldn't help the Under 15s match a very competent Burgess Hill side who swept away any ambition we had of having a representative in the semi-finals with a convincing victory. Ian Watts Under 13 Colts excelled themselves in the County Cup this season, proving the pundits wrong by making far more progress then expected, however a very resourceful performance from Worthing Dynamos put paid to thoughts of a final berth down in Lancing and they crashed out. A truly excellent performance from Alan Evan's Under 13s wasn't enough to quell the ambitions of Withdean and despite some terrific football they too had their dreams dashed on the St Georges Field's mud.

Nevertheless, Alan's team had been handed tough ties throughout the competition and although it's said to be the best you have to beat the best, you can't help rue missing that little bit of luck that may have made their passage to savour the occasion of a semi or even better a county cup final a little easier.

Amid the disappointment of our cup defeats a number positives did come out, namely the excellent attitude of all the boys and some of the warming remarks made by opposition managers about the quality and style of our game.

It's all very easy in my book to play a long-ball game to hunt for a result but it does nothing to teach young players to be confident on the ball. I am very proud of the fact that the junior managers at this club purvey the solid virtues of the passing game and the fluidity that comes from movement and the use of space. As Thierry Henry once said ".. if we keep passing, the goals will come. When we are against a team that play a long ball that is the way to stop them by passing. They try to drag us into their game but we keep passing the ball. And we know the goals will come...". Simple but effective when trying to explain to a twelve year-old why the game was meant to be played on the deck!

If you are looking for a junior game this weekend, I suggest you give me a call due to the vagaries of the weather this time of year. At the time of writing our U11s are our sole team at home on Mount Noddy. On Sunday our U13s host an intriguing encounter against Bromley whilst our U14s entertain the quaintly named Broad Oak and Horam District FC, on St Georges and East Court respectfully. All our other teams are heading for all four distant corners of the county with the U16s hoping to rid themselves of their penalty angst with a trip to Hailsham.

Finally, my thanks to first team hit-man Ben Burns who answered my plea for details of past county cup exploits. Although, space precludes going into detail on this occasion, his recollection of the encounter against Lewes has gone down in Wasps folklore and deserves publishing.
Martin Hill

:: Wednesday 11th January 2006 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
TECHNICAL RESOURCES - report from Ian Watts

USEFUL WEBSITES


www.bettersoccermorefun.com– This website is inspired by Dutch coaching methods and has some good thought provoking aspects to it. It also has a lot of good activities and a number of useful links to other sites.

www.soccerclinicseurope.com – This website is again well structured with many useful drills but it does require a subscription. I have personally subscribed up to June 2006 and have printed out a large amount of the content.

COACHING VIDEOS

I have two videos which are well suited to the younger age groups. These are both available for loan.

The videos are:
Soccer Star – demonstrates a lot of techniques e.g turning, running with the ball, shooting etc

Club Coach – Features over 20 coaching games

BOOKS

Again available for loan I have:

The Psychology of Football – This is an FA publication and has useful information about motivation, confidence etc

Ian Watts

:: Tuesday 6th December 2005 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
After our Junior County Cup exploits it was back to the bread and butter of the league for our youth teams.

The cold snap bit Gary Wilsher's 15 Colts with postponement of their match away to Storrington. Thankfully the Swans manager had the good sense to walk the pitch on the eve of the game saving the boys a cold and worthless journey down to the mushroom factory. Gary's boys face a stern test this Saturday home to second in the league Broadbridge Heath who knocked them out of the league cup recently.

Elsewhere, the U11s miserable run continued with a disapointing defeat to Stenying Strikers but manager Martin Byrne can take heart from the recent League Plate victory where they despatched Lower Beding Lions with a fabulous 12-0 win. Simon Parret's U12s inspired by a Miles Borrett hatrick took the points from Horsham Sparrows in a fine 5-1 win. Alan Evan's U13s cruised into the quarter final of the Tandridge league cup, with a comprehensive away victory at Stanhope . Although the early exchanges were fairly even they ran out six goals to the good which sets up a quarter final tie with Waterloo...(a headline writers dream).

Dave Mann's U14s after comprehensively beating Jarvis Brook in the Crowborough League have gone three without a win conceding 4 goals per game. Management combo Bobby Smith and Phil Major inspired their U15s to a well deserved victory against Timebridge in the Tandridge League Shield with midfielder Dan Harvey scoring in the opening minute. Dave Major and John Breech, an aquisition from Horley Town last season, both on the scoresheet for Wasps. Finaly, our U16s miserable run of luck continued with a heavy defeat at home to Hastings Town Youth, so all in all not a bad weekend for Junior Wasps.

But, as I say to every junior manager and coach at the club, it's not always about winning nor is about playing to win at all costs. Granted nobody wants to face a drubbing week in week out or face the ignominy of a bad run of results, but what it is about is schooling the players in skills and techniques, the 115 year traditions of this club and the culture of the game. To get the best out of every player, motivating them to strive to become a more accompolished player and team member. As the french poet Paul Valéry once said " Young people do not learn only in school. Their surroundings and the times in which they live have as much, if not more, influence on them than teachers" with those words it makes mr think about the coaches and managers, mums and dads who turn out every week in all conditions, they - WE - all play a part in helping to shape future adults. That's a big responsibility and more important than always winning.

:: Monday 28th November 2005 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
A good barometer of the ability of our youth teams is the progress they make in the County Cup competitions, which pits them against teams they may never normally meet in their respective regional leagues. This season we've met teams from all four corners of Sussex and in the majority of cases been successful. Thankfully, not all our teams have had to travel to the likes of Hastings, Bognor, Chichester and Little Common on a cold Sunday morning, and we must have honoured fate because she has granted us more than our fair share of home ties.

Particular mention should be made of our Under 13s managed by the redoubtable Alan Evans, who met Phoenix FC the team that knocked them out of last season's competition, Alan's boys vanquished the monkey with a 4-0 demolition job. A stunning display from our Under 13 Colts against Wadhurst sees them hosting an intriguing tie against Worthing. Colts manger Ian Watts has worked tirelessly to fashion his squad to play some really attractive football, building upon the foundations he laid season. At the upper age groups, team management combo Bob Smith and Phil Major have steered the U15s to an appointment with near neighbours Crowborough Athletic. With such a management pedigree there is a a level of expectation they could progress to the quarter-final stage and perhaps beyond. At U16 Mark Legget's boys have put the frustration of meandering league form behind them by despatching Rustington to face Hove. Mark's team have a respectable county cup record and again with home advantage it's not beyond them to reach the quarter final stage again.

I hope I haven't tempted the county cup gods too much and not to overdose on hackneyed football clichés, with the rub of the green we could experience our best season for many a year in the county's showcase competitions. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who knows what was our best ever season in the county cups at youth level. Have we ever reached a final or semi?

The next round of the county cups are on Sunday 11 December starting with Bob and Phil's U15s ko 10.30 am followed by Alan Evans U13s ko at 2.00 pm both on King Georges field. The U13 Colts and U16s play at East Court ko times to be agreed - please give me a call if you want to attend, I guarantee you not only will you witness our boys playing some great football in a completive spirit proudly wearing the famous black and amber you'll also see future first team players and I'll put money on that!

Fingers crossed that next time I pen an update on our cup exploits I'll be canvassing support to persuade the Chairman and Head Groundsman to allow a cup quarter-final or even better a semi to be played at the county ground.

Martin Hill

:: Thursday 3rd November 2005 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town U10s are on the lookout for new players to join them in the Crowborough & District Junior League on Saturday mornings. Team Manager Mark Jordan is waiting to hear on 01342 314209 or 07855 872799 or please drop him an e-mail at mark@lynette69.fsnet.co.uk.

:: Saturday 1st October 2005 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
It's been a bag of mixed fortunes for our junior teams in their quest for league success. Mark Legget's U16's early season promise has been dampened by a series of injuries that has left a depleted squad on the wrong end of a couple of results against Hastings United and Uckfield. Amongst a number of notable individual performances one that stands out is that of goalkeeper Scott Owens who is fast making a good reputation in the Crowborough League. Whilst on the subject of goalkeepers, U15 Colts stopper Ben Abbott has been selected to play for the Horsham League in the Sussex FA Inter-League Competition. What is remarkable about Ben's achievement is that rather be sent for trials by Wasps manager Gary Wilsher, Ben's exploits between the posts came to the attention of the Rep side manager following a number of glowing testimonials. Just remember you read the names here first; "Owens and Abbott" because I'm sure they will feature for the senior club in the not to distant future. Elsewhere, David Mann's U14 team goes from strength to strength to rejoin the top flight in the Crowborough League with a 100% success record after three games putting them top of the pile.

You can follow the progress of our teams by checking out their respective league websites:

¨ Crowborough League : www.cdjfl.co.uk
¨ Horsham League: www.full-time.thefa.com
¨ Tandridge League: www.tandridgeleague.co.uk

The Horsham League website is hosted on the FA's new grassroots football site and is a free tool for league administrators. The FA have used a lot of resources on supporting junior football and although there is much more work to be done I think the site is tangible evidence of their initiative to improve communications. My personal wish is that I want more pitches, professional coaching and improved training facilities at our level. Having worked in Holland and also having toured there with a junior Wasps team, I've been impressed by the way they coach their kids, the emphasis on technique and ball control. Equally impressive are the facilities, where almost every district and village can boast an all-weather floodlit training area and enclosed ground. Here in the UK The Football Foundation, UK's largest sports charity, a partnership funded by The Premier League, The FA and the Government, is leading the charge in revitalising grass roots football, investing in facilities, equipment and skills. Although this club has benefited from grants provided by The FF how I dream of one day standing on the balcony of a brand new clubhouse surrounded by junior pitches overlooking a purpose built all-weather training facility. I hope that one day that dream may be realised and becomes a legacy for future generation of junior Wasps. In the meantime we'll stick with East Court, Mount Noddy and King George's Fields where you can catch the following action;

Sunday 1 Oct EGT U14 v Jarvis Brook ko 10.30 at East Court followed by EGT U16 v Hastings United ko 2.00pm.
Saturday 8 October you can see our U12s v Billingshurst at Mount Noddy, also on next Saturday our U13s and U16 Colts host Ashington and Hurstpierpoint respectively. Finally, if you need another Bobby Smith fix you can catch him at King Georges Field spurring on our U15s to glory in the Tandridge League Cup vs Seymour Athletic ko 10.00 am.

If you are interested in joining the youth set-up, need information on teams, matches and kick-off times etc please don't hesitate to call me, Martin Hill, on 07813-136175 I'll be only to happy to chat.

:: Saturday 24th September 2005 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
The sun is shinning, pitches glow with lush green grass, kits are pristine and the sports shops are doing a brisk trade on gaudy football boots. It must be the start of the junior football season! East Grinstead Town can boast an amazing eleven junior teams ranging from under nines straight through to under sixteen's all of them eager to start their league campaigns.

I was both honoured and delighted to be invited by Bruce Talbot and Richard Tramontin to co-ordinate the activities of the club's vibrant youth set-up. As an FA Chartered Standard Development club, we have an excellent accredited group of managers, coaches and helpers who maintain the best traditions of this club both on and off the pitch at junior level.

Our teams play in three local leagues. The Tandridge League stretches from East Grinstead in the south all the way north into Croydon, Herne Hill and Lewisham. This league has a reputation for being one of the most competitive, skilful and best organised in southeast England. The Crowborough League is probably one of the oldest junior leagues in England. Again, East Grinstead are on the western extremities and the league boasts some heavy weight clubs such as Hastings, Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne Town, incidentally, a large number of county cup winning teams have traditionally come from this league. To the west of us we have teams playing in the ever-popular Saturday Horsham league. This league has the distinction of playing their end of season cup finals at Broadbridge Heath Stadium and there have been many notable junior Wasps cup performances that have graced that lovingly tendered surface over the years.

Over the course of the season I'll update readers of this distinguished journal with our teams exploits. The first couple of weeks of the new season have seen some notable successes, namely our under 16's demolition of a highly rated Crawley Town side. Although, it was a pre-season friendly the performance argues well for the coming season. Also, there is no lack of practical footballing experience to call upon with many of the senior section management team running junior teams with both Bobby Smith and Phil Major running successful sides.

If you are up and around the town at the weekend, perhaps taking the dog for a walk or a relaxed stroll, you'll find East Grinstead Town teams playing at East Court, Mount Noddy and King George's Fields, all of them resplendent in the club's distinctive amber and black strip. Forthcoming matches:

¨ Sunday 25 Sept EGT U13s v Croydon at King Georges ko 10.30 am
¨ Saturday 1 Oct EGT U11 v Roffey Robins at Mount Noddy ko 09.30 am
¨ Saturday 1 Oct EGT U15 Colts v Horsham at East Court 1 ko 09.30 am
¨ Saturday 1 Oct EGT U16 Colts v Broadbridge Heath at East Court 1 ko 11.00 am

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