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Emphasis on Youth

Hethersett Athletic Football Club will be running 13 teams in the coming season covering all ages from Under-7s to adult, the annual meeting heard. 

Over the past year the club has been increasing its emphasis on the youth side of football, introducing the game to youngsters as young as five and this will be reflected in the club running youth sides at under-7, under-9, under-11, under-12, under-13, under-14, under-15, under-16 and a new under-19 level. In addition it will continue to run two Sunday men’s teams, a Saturday men’s side and a ladies team. 

“Over the past season we have put a considerable emphasis on the youth side of our club. Coaches have worked with Norfolk FA to encourage youngsters to enjoy football at a very early age. Many of our youth team players go through all the age groups, which means they could be staying with the club for well over a decade. This is good for the club, good for them and good for grass roots football,” said club chairman Peter Steward. 

The meeting heard that the club’s Under-12s and Under-16s finished as champions of their sections of the Norfolk Youth Combination and the Under-13s won their league’s fairplay award for the third consecutive season. The prestigious Lee Thompson Memorial Shield for outstanding contribution to the club went to Under-16s manager Michael Lemmon. 

The club continued to foster its links with the community by supporting numerous village events, holding a major ladies five-a-side tournament as part of the Hethersett Open Weekend and organising a village fireworks display. 

Officers elected were: Chair, Peter Steward; Vice-Chair, Kevin Swann; Secretary, Mel Perkins; Assistant Secretary, Eve Buhler; Treasurer, Tim Hudson; Welfare Officer, Sue Buffin; Assistant Welfare Officer, Wayne Johnson; Sponsorship/Grants Officer, Ian Fieldhouse; Football Development Officer, Wayne Johnson; Club Development Officer, Steve Raven; Women’s and Girls’ Development Officer, Kevin Swann; Promotions and Marketing Officer, Peter Steward; Facilities and Equipment Officer, Neal Luther; Schools’ Liaison Officer, Steve Walker; Events Co-Ordinator, Steve Raven; Volunteers’ Co-Ordinator, Wayne Johnson; Referees’ Co-Ordinator, Neal Luther; Club Physio, Colin McDermott.