YOUTH FOOTBALL: League looks to re-grow its team numbers

An open training day will be held for Sleaford Town Junior FC on Saturday, October 22
An open training day will be held for Sleaford Town Junior FC on Saturday, October 22

Lincolnshire Intermediate Football League is looking to re-grow its numbers after a recent steady decline.

The league for under-18 players, for youths aged from 16 to 19 years old, has seen participation levels going down, so much so that it now only has 20-plus clubs and two divisions compared to its former volumes of 40-plus and four divisions.

LIFL press officer John Mulhall said there were various reasons for the decline in numbers, citing university/college, football on TV on Sundays, weekend part-time jobs and other social cultural factors.

John added: “In general, grass roots football is failing to grow or survive in some areas because of poor facilities, lack of volunteers to run and coach teams and a shortage of money to support hiring of pitches and the higher cost of kit and training gear.”

The league was initially formed just over 20 years ago to provide a football competition for players under 18 but outside the lower age of 16 which normally ends youth status for players. LIFL started an under-21 league in 2014-15 and this is now Lincolnshire FA’s U21 Midweek League.

For more information, visit www.leaguewebsite.co.uk/lifl