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Spalding United have joined forces with their youth section

An exciting future is being predicted for community football after Spalding United Youth rejoined forces with the Tulips.

The two parties have been reunited after the youth section broke away from the Northern Premier League South East Division club several years ago.

Successful talks have brought the duo back together and youth chairman Sharla Slayven is thrilled at the new arrangement.

Gabriel Zakuani (46596597)
Gabriel Zakuani (46596597)

She said: “Everyone involved from Spalding United Youth are delighted with the link up with Spalding United.

“A pathway to senior football has been on the agenda for a number or years and, after several meetings with Leigh Porter and Andy Killingsworth, it is apparent that we share the same passion both on and off the pitch.

“The future for community football in Spalding has just become exciting.”

Tulips first team boss Gabriel Zakuani felt that united the whole club under one banner was a major boost for the future.

He commented: “This role for me is more than putting 11 players on a pitch every week.

“It’s about being part of a team that bring the whole club forward and having everyone involved with the first team who wants to engage with the junior section and make them feel part of one big squad bringing the club together.

“I can’t wait to meet the teams and see lots of Spalding shirts involved at our next game.”

Seventeen teams will be representing the club under the Spalding United banner for the 2021/22 season from under sixes through to the senior men’s first team.

And Tulips chief executive officer Leigh Porter felt the move was an important step forward in integrating the club in the community.

Leigh Porter. (46596585)
Leigh Porter. (46596585)

He said: “This is fantastic news for the club as we continue to build the right way.

“From day one there were a number of key areas we wanted to address as soon as we could and a full youth set up was one of the priorities and this is the first step of an ongoing process and we are pleased to be able to start work.

“The involvement of youth, including girls and boys throughout the age groups, into senior football is key to any club that has aspirations to grow and integrate into the community over a sustained period of time.

“The youth department of the club are constantly looking for help with facilities, volunteers and sponsorship and anyone wishing to help with the development of the youth set up should contact commercial@spaldingunited.net

The Tulips have been handed a plum home draw in next season’s Lincolnshire Senior Cup.

They will face League Two side Grimsby Town in a quarter-final clash at the Sir Halley Stewart ground.

The date of the pre-season fixture is yet to be confirmed.

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