PALMER’S College and the Essex County FA are reflecting on the success of the latest completed ‘Team Nineteen’ League during the 2013/14 academic year, a competition which forms part of a project with The FA to help address the drop off in football participation for 16-19-year-olds.
College Sport Maker at the Grays-based college, Navin Seneviratne, and County FA College & Community Football Coordinator, Luke Hornsley, have worked in partnership to develop the league over five months. It built on the initial triumph of a similar 7v7 competition which was piloted in the previous school year.
Weekly league matches were played on the college’s Astroturf at Chadwell Road every Monday and Tuesday lunchtime and, in total, there were 15 teams with over 150 students taking part. The league was refereed by PE staff and a group of sports students who had undertaken their Junior Football Leaders Award.
Team Nineteen is The FA’s intra-mural football programme for further education, developed along with delivery partners the English Colleges FA and British Colleges Sport. Inaugurated in November 2011, Team Nineteen has a clear aim and concept of creating student led, fun football leagues with a focus on the positive experience of the student.
Seneviratne said: “This league has worked really well this year and has created a real buzz around the college. The students have been engaged through the use of social media, full interactive use of the Full Time website and the introduction of the ‘Golden Boot’ award. The standard of football has been very high and has seen some players get selected for the college football teams based on their performances for their Team Nineteen team.”
Hornsley added: “Palmer’s College have run the biggest and most successful Team Nineteen throughout Essex and I believe the success of the league has added to the students’ experience at college. I want to say a big thank you and well done to Navin and the students for making the project flourish and I look forward to working on future leagues with them.”
The winners of the Team Nineteen League in 2013/14 were AO Town, who managed an impressive nine wins out of eleven games, partly down to the success of Golden Boot winner Josh Bonner. Plans are already underway for a new campaign, and the organisers are hoping for an even bigger turnout when it resumes next year.
To find out more about Team Nineteen, visit www.team19.bcsport.org, call Luke Hornsley on (01245) 393076 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Details on grassroots football are also available at www.essexfa.com, on Twitter by following @EssexCountyFA and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.
Well done to all concerned. (And no afters at the college gate either, things are looking up)