The selection of North Ferriby United’s Dan Smith for the England Colleges’ team and of Louis Mobbs and Louis Bruce for the England Schools’ Under-18 side is a tremendous honour for the players, their families and the club.
Their selection follows that of Matty Bloor who captained the England Schools’ Under-18s in 2008.
The fact that North Ferriby has three international players may surprise many people but it shows the effectiveness of the club’s youth development system. The youth section is very much a part of everyday life at the football club, yet it remains separate financially. As a not for profit organisation, it relies on subscription fees, sponsorship and fundraising activities. The players’ subscriptions are amongst the lowest in the area and cover training costs and match expenses. Each team also has its own dedicated page on the Club’s website.
The youth section is managed by an active committee which tries to constantly expand and improve the range of benefits that it provides and so encourage more young people to access football activities.
North Ferriby currently runs 20 teams, involving some 300 boys and girls at junior and youth level, plus entering a team in the prestigious FA Youth Cup. The players receive weekly training from fully qualified coaches. Team managers undertake regular training in various aspects of team management.
Players in all age groups are encouraged to play the same style of skilful football and enjoy the game. This enables the older players are able to successfully make the transition from Youth to Reserve and ultimately First Team football.
North Ferriby is keen to increase the number of teams but this could be hindered for two reasons. First, there are a diminishing number of pitches available in the area. Second, there is currently no progression in the area for Girls’ teams over the age of 16 unless they move in to open-age football.
The club’s future commitment to Junior and Youth football can be seen by the recent total refurbishment of its own Development Centre /Training Facility at a cost of £160,000.
North Ferriby is one of the top 100 football clubs in non league football. Tremendous progress has been made over the last 18 years under the Chairmanship of Les Hare and the club is looking to maintain this in the future. Everybody at the club is determined that youth and junior football will be at the heart of this and continue to play a significant part in the local community.