The Pitchside Vets League, in partnership with Lincolnshire Football Association, kicked off successfully in January, with eight teams participating in weekly organised football.
The Friday evening six-a-side league, which is played on the 3G facility at Bradley Development Centre in Grimsby, has brought players out of retirement and allowed them to find their love for the game once more. It has allowed all teams and participants to take to the pitch in an enjoyable and social environment.
Following eight rounds of fixtures prior to the country-wide suspension of football, only three points were separating the top three teams, with the league set to resume once safe to do so.
After the successful launch of the league, Jake Park, Football Development Officer at Lincolnshire FA, said it was great to allow more players to take to the field. He said: “As a County Football Association, we are trying to broaden the types of football available to people throughout Lincolnshire, ensuring it is accessible to anyone who may want to play, either recreationally or competitively.
“In this case, we utilised the local knowledge and intelligence of Benn Cass and Gary Precious at the Bradley Development Centre, to deliver something new but relevant to the area. I was able to support the league with an initial start-up package with Benn leading on all aspects of delivery.
“His approach in terms of making it as easy as possible to play football with minimal administration for players and teams is why it has been so successful. The facility has been very accommodating, and I thank Gary Precious for his support.”
Meanwhile, League Secretary and Organiser, Ben Cass, highlighted the positive response to the league. He said: “The league has been a huge success, and has four more teams on the waiting list for season two. We have implemented a simple set fee and timeslot each week meaning teams do not need to pay per player or check which time they are playing each week.
“Teams are enjoying getting their boots back on and we've seen a few old Sunday League teams who folded many years ago starting back up and enjoying the game again. Although it is very competitive at times with a split of possibly the top 4 teams battling it out for the title they are all played in good spirit and everyone shakes hands at the end.
“We use the same few referees so everyone gets to know everyone and it's a great way to spend a Friday night. Looking forward, we're hoping to introduce a second division towards the end of the summer and build on the success of the first season.”
To view the current standings of the Pitchside Vets League, please visit the link below.