In the forthcoming season, 212 teams will play across the 15 divisions of the Cambridgeshire League – up from 196 last term. The increase comes at a time when in many other parts of the country there has been a decline in the number of teams playing open-age Saturday football.
But the Cambridgeshire FA-run competition has attracted 22 new teams from 12 new clubs along with four from the Halsted League which recently folded. They include two teams from outside the county – Huntingdon-based Houghton & Wyton FC and Kedington United from Suffolk.
Chris Abbott, competitions manager for Cambridgeshire FA, said: “Teams are attracted to the Cambs League because of the way we run it. Our competitions secretary, Phil Mitcham, is always available to offer advice and support to teams, while the administration for the league is now all online which has made it easier for club secretaries.
“We also have tremendous support from our sponsors Kershaw, who have been involved since 1991, and I am also pleased to welcome another sponsor this season, Newmarket Motor Company.
“To attract more teams – including those from outside the Cambridgeshire FA area – just goes to prove what a strong competition it is.”
Meanwhile, the number of teams joining the Under 12 9v9 league, sponsored by Barry M Kempton, has more than doubled.
Fifty one teams will contest five divisions when the big kick off takes place next month, compared to 23 teams playing in two divisions last season.
The recent FA Youth Development Review means it will become mandatory for Under 11 and Under 12 teams to play 9v9 football from 2014.
But clubs affiliated to Cambridgeshire FA have been praised for deciding to adopt the changes now. Chris Abbott said: “Clubs in Cambridgeshire have really embraced the FA Youth Development Review. They understand how important it will prove to be in the development of the next generation of our young players.”
If you would like to get into football either through a Cambridgeshire FA league or another league within the county please contact one of our team:
Chris Abbott (competition manager) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanne Bull (adult football development officer) - email@example.com
Bev Clarkson (youth football development officer) - firstname.lastname@example.org