Lincolnshire U21 League

This season is the third year that the Lincolnshire Football Association has administered a county wide midweek Under 21 Development League. The league currently has 11 teams operating within it who are split between 2 divisions (North and South) to ensure travelling is kept to a minimum. The two previous winners of the competition are Boston United U21s and Lincoln City U21s.

Teams are permitted to play 3 overage players with the focus at all times being on the development of the players and helping bridge the gap between youth football and adult football. Referees, wherever possible, are selected from the current LFA Referee Promotion List. For more information on the Lincolnshire FA U21 Development, including fixtures, results and current league standings across both divisions, please visit http://fulltime-league.thefa.com/ProcessPublicSelect.do?psSelectedSeason=563538900&psSelectedDivision=999274564&psSelectedLeague=279993934

Applications to the join the league for the 2018/19 season should be sent through to league chairman, Steve Lilley (lfaassessment@uwclub.net), with Jake Park (jake.park@lincolnshirefa.com) copied in.

Below is a statement from Lewis Thorogood who has managed within the league over the past 3 seasons and is current manager at Spalding United U21s

"This is the third season the Lincolnshire FA under-21 Development League has been running and my third season in charge of an elite 21s side, previously with Boston United and now Spalding United.

The league is very beneficial to senior clubs and was one of my recommendations to both Boston and indeed now Spalding to enter.

From a competitive aspect being a county-based league ensures local games in the main, less travelling and indeed local derbies.

It is a good stepping stone for under-18s to test themselves with older players up to 21 and indeed at times senior players from the clubs first teams who may require game time coming back from injury or needing minutes.

The use of three over age players is a great benefit. This mean the first team manager can ensure his squad is utilised when needed in these games and a good experience for the young players to play with and against.

For me, myself and my coaching staff ensure training and match days replicate those of first team games to give the players a better experience and ensure they are used to surroundings when they step into the first team.

The success not only through trophies is also measured most Importantly through development. This season (2017-2018) we have had 8 under-21s players break into the first team squad to play step 4 Evo Stik Division One South football, which without this league and structure may not have happened."

 

Lewis Thorogood

Spalding United Under-21s Development Manager

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