Meet Kirkburton Juniors!
Kirkburton Junior Football Club has come a long way since starting out in 1998, writes Mick Troop! Since then it's been onwards and upwards for all the teams from the Under 7s to the Under 15s. Mick says it's time to introduce them...
With teams playing in all age groups from Under Seven through to Under 15 in the Huddersfield Junior Football League, four girls only teams now playing in the West Riding Junior Girls League and with links to Kirkburton Senior Club the junior setup offers outstanding opportunities to local youngsters wishing to play football!
The club began to find its feet in 2002 when, in conjunction with Kirkburton Middle School, a Football Foundation grant in excess of £432,000 was used to provide an all weather pitch facility, a new changing, kitchen and teaching block and an effective drainage system for the school fields where Kirkburton JFC play. Geoff Barnard from the club, and Andrew Parker, Headmaster at Kirkburton Middle, managed this project through to completion and the facilities became available for use in 2004.
With close links to the school, excellent facilities and a good local reputation, everything was in place to allow Kirkburton JFC to apply for the FA Charter Standard award – the award that allows a club to show that it has met FA recommended guidelines. At their first attempt, the club were awarded Charter Standard Community status.
Charter Standard Community status shows the club is actively involved in the local community. As a Charter Standard club all coaches have to gain a minimum coaching standard award, be checked to make sure they haven't got a criminal record and be qualified first aiders. The introduction of new teams means parental involvement and it has been particularly pleasing that all new teams and groups have their own manager/coach who have passed this FA requirement coaching course. In fact, the club has had 14 passes in the last 18 months!
Kirkburton JFC has grown considerably over the last three years and now has more than 220 players connected to the club. Staggeringly, almost 25% are girls so the introduction of girls' football, even more recently than three years ago, has proved particularly successful not only in terms of numbers but also in success on the field.
One girls' team was entered as Under 11 for the 2005/06 Season in the West Riding Junior Girls League and finished a creditable third in the second division, just missing out on promotion. This possibly benefited the group though as the following year, 2006/07, at Under 12 they comfortably won the Second Division losing just one league game all season. Although some of the stronger girls groups at this age have moved to eleven-a-side this season, this group decided to continue with the seven-a-side format and currently stand joint top of the First Division.
Season 2006/07 saw a second team entered to represent Kirkburton in the West Riding Junior Girls League (WRJGL), again at Under 11 age group. This squad finished second in Division Three at their first attempt, have now moved up a year and - as Under 12s - currently sit third in Division Two.
The original development plan was to try and enter a new girls' team into the WRJGL every season, but such was the interest from girls in the community that Kirkburton have been able to enter TWO new groups for the start of the current 2007/08 Season.
Both the Under 11s and Under 10s were allocated places in Division One of their respective age groups and both so far have performed very well. The Under Elevens currently sit fourth, with the younger Under 10s group currently sitting fifth!
last updated: 10/01/2008 at 16:09
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