Bloaters' youth team re-write history

PUBLISHED: 11:24 30 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:49 03 July 2010

Great Yarmouth Town's U18  title-winning squad.

Great Yarmouth Town's U18 title-winning squad.

GREAT Yarmouth Town are celebrating a first title win since the late Nineties when Stewart Roach helped the then youth team to the Norfolk Youth Combination crown.

GREAT Yarmouth Town are celebrating a first title win since the late Nineties when Stewart Roach helped the then youth team to the Norfolk Youth Combination crown.

The current U18 players were assured of this season's Ridgeons Youth Eastern Division title for the first time when they beat Harford Tornadoes last week.

Yarmouth now play away to the winners of the North Division (either Soham or Downham) in the championship semi-final play-off, writes Gerry Brown.

Joint manager Ian Griffin said of his team's success: “The lads deserve it for all their efforts and dedication. It's a culmination of two years' work and commitment from players, parents and staff.

“Mark (Scales) and I would like to thank Julia Banham and Kevin Forbes for getting us on board originally and for giving us the opportunity, the desire and the motivation to succeed.

“We are also grateful for all the help we have received from the management, the chairman and the network of support behind the scenes, such as Brian Smith, without whom the team could not exist.

“Most pleasing of all is that we are producing players for the first team who will hopefully go on to play for the club in years to come - we're sure there will be more to follow!

“We must also thank our sponsors the Great Yarmouth Mercury, Sawdust Clothing, Breydon Flooring and Cap Fabrication.”

Jake Reed looks set to take the Youth League top-scorer title with 23 goals with his nearest rival on 20 - at the time of writing both had one league game left.

The club's final matches are taking place. Tomorrow their closing game takes place at the Wellesley against promotion contenders Halstead Town (3). The Bloaters were beaten 7-1 at Halstead a few weeks ago.

If the Youth team avoided defeat in last night's match at Kirkley & Pakefield, it is believed this would be the first time for 80 seasons that a Town side has gone a whole season without losing a league game, since 1928-29 when the Reserves won all their 16 league games and were undefeated in a further 16 cup ties.

The U9s play their first cup final, at Emerald Park, on Sunday (1.15pm) against Waveney Youth A. It is one of several finals to be played during the day starting at 10.30am.

The club has been saddened by the news of the death of Kathy Lingarde. She was the wife of Frank, the “Voice of Wellesley Road” as the former match announcer and committee member, who himself died a few years ago, was affectionately known.

The club, which was represented at yesterday's funeral service, sends its heartfelt condolences to the family.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Great Yarmouth Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury