A exciting partnership that will foster the progression of talented local youth footballers to the men’s and women’s adult game has been announced this week by Romsey Town Youth FC (RTYFC) and Romsey Town Football Club.
The clubs have agreed to form an overarching Steering Group to agree a football structure that creates a pathway for RTYFC youngsters to potentially transition to the one of the six adult and youth teams that Romsey Town FC will be running next season. Whilst the Wessex League side and their counterparts at RTYFC will continue to be separately managed by their respective committees and will remain financially independent, they will both actively seek opportunities for collaboration on and off the field that will be beneficial for both the clubs and the town.
RTYFC was founded in 1972 and currently has 27 teams across the Under 7 to Under 18 age range including 5 girls’ teams, a Soccer School for younger children and a soon to be launched Girls FA Wildcats Centre. Launching this alliance, RTYFC Chair Simon Jupp said, “This is a fantastic opportunity to formally connect with Romsey Town FC, providing a pathway from youth football into the adult game in the town”.
Romsey Town is currently undergoing its own transformation with a new committee and management team recently installed. Its ‘Romsey First’ campaign, which promotes business and social engagement with the local community, is already off to a flying start with new sponsorship deals announced last week. Club spokesman Andy Bell welcomed the opportunity for working together with RTYFC saying, “Both clubs have a great opportunity and dare I say, responsibility to build a strong platform for football in the Romsey area from the superbly run soccer school for children beginning their journey at the age of 5 right up to the adult first team. Forging this solid link and development pathway between the two clubs will give young players the route through the age groups, learning and most importantly enjoying their football at the foundation age, progressing through the different stages in development at all skill levels and then supporting them taking their first steps into the adult game.”
Romsey Town manager Adam Pullinger sees this development as being critical to his vision for creating and sustaining success on the pitch and commented, “Since coming to Romsey Town Football Club in March it has become a clear priority for all of us to strengthen the link with Romsey Town Youth. The potential within Romsey for a strong football club that offers opportunities for all is imperative for the town and its community. In these unprecedented times, I have no doubt that ‘Community’ will become a more important pillar of everyday life. This for me is a positive to come out of the sad times we are encountering. Our first aim will be to work together to implement a solid football pathway through the 27 strong youth teams into competitive men’s and women’s football. Their reputation in the county youth scene is strong and one we look forward to supporting them to enhance.”
The first fruits of this joint effort will see last season’s RTYFC Girls’ U18 side switch to the By-Pass Ground to become the inaugural Romsey Town Women FC team. The Girls’ team has enjoyed much success with the same core of players having progressed from U8’s through to scooping the Hampshire FA Youth County Cup as U18’s in 2020.