by Will Jones
The England football team may not have come far in the past five years but youth football in Burngreave has come a long way.
Five years ago there were no youth football teams in Burngreave, now there are five, including the Multicultural Wanderers, two new teams for under-11s and under-13s. Danny Joof is manager for the under-11s team (pictured), he’s played some football in his time and won a few trophies too, now he’s passing on his skills to his young team.
“We’ve got thirteen players registered and they’ve played a few matches together.We had a couple of heavy losses at first, 11–2, 10–1, but in the last match they lost 2–1. It was like they had won, they play much better as a team and I was really pleased.We’ve got some good players, and they all really buzz off it.”
The under-13s team has about 20 players and though they are not winning at the moment, team manager Mark Armitage said:
“They are getting better and there is a great team spirit within the team. It’s a learning curve at the moment because it’s the first time a lot of them have played 11-a-side football.”
Patrick Edwards, who helped to set up the Burngreave Sports Network, which supports a number of the youth and adult teams in Burngreave, said:
“Considering where football was in Burngreave five years ago, quite a lot of progress has been made. But, more still needs to be done in order to reach the ideal situation of having ten teams between the ages of seven and seventeen and developing a girls’ football programme.”
Both teams are still looking for new local players. They train on Wednesdays at Firvale School 5–6pm.
For more information on how to get involved, phone Patrick Edwards at Burngreave Community Action Trust on 272 8008 or Burngreave Sports Network on 0114 292 2907.