The pride of the county

Sleaford Town's double winning under 18s are just one of the success stories.
Sleaford Town's double winning under 18s are just one of the success stories.

Sleaford Town Junior Football Club have been named as the county’s FA Charter Standard Community Club of the Year.

The Greens’ award - handed out by the Lincolnshire FA - was due to the new initiatives being adopted by the club in its commitment to grassroots football.

The Junior Section at STFC have been an ever-evolving organisation for some years, providing the opportunity for boys and girls of varying ability and ages to take part in the beautiful game within the excellent facilities at Eslaforde Park.

In the past 12 months, Sleaford Town Junior FC have made great strides and now boast a structure to rival local academies after now being able to boast 30 coaches within the junior club with FA Qualifications ranging from levels one to three, monthly coach education, age group specific FA coaching mentors, a goalkeeper academy for use by all, the new launch of the Mini-Greens and training system for reception and year one youngsters, the Coaches for Tomorrow Programme, offering the older juniors an early taste of coaching, improved social media use.

The junior club chairman is Jason Butler, who over recent years has focused the club’s attentions on supporting the grassroots game and also creating the strong pathways which now exist to the adult teams.

He said: “This is an outstanding accolade for all our coaches and willing volunteers, sponsors and of course our young players.

“I’m a very proud chairman today and am so pleased to see the club moving in the right direction.”

Lee Mitchell, the club’s development officer, added: “Having coached at a high level around the world for the past 20 years, I can honestly say that Sleaford Town Juniors is a fantastic football club to be a part of.

“The junior club now has an excellent framework and facilities which encourages the youngsters from around the community to develop their football skills and enjoyment of the game within a team environment, backed up by a group of dedicated and passionate coaches and development committee who volunteer their time week after week.”

The club currectly has 15 junior teams from under fours to under 18s, including more than 250 players.

During the past season, six junior teams were finalists in their respective cup competitions.

The under 18s won a league and cup double while 23 junior players from the under 16s, 17s and 18s went on to represent the under 21s side and reserve teams, while under 18s captain Harrison Allen also featured regularly for the first team in the UCL Premier.

PICTURED: Sleaford Town’s double winning under 18s are just one of the success stories.