A YEAR ago Shortwood Utd Youth did not exist, but over the last month they have won two leagues titles and a County Cup.

Under the leadership of Simon and Rachael Freeman and with the full support of the club two youth teams, U12s and U14s were formed. Within a six-week period, FA affiliation, acceptance into the Junior Premier League, the highest completion level of youth football outside of academies, was obtained, trials were held, players signed on, facilities found and secured and so the story began.

Out of the 30 players signed only eight had played JPL football previously so the step up and ask of the boys was huge, however, they have surpassed any expectation of them.

The U12s started the season with mixed results, including some heavy defeats, but soon understood the level required and upped their game beyond all recognition and finished the season winning the league and the GFA County Cup.

The U14s did well in pre-season and that continued when the league started and went on to be unbeaten in the league and convincingly winning it by seven points.

Rachel Freeman said: "One thing that really stands out in both teams is how much of a team they are, always supporting each other and covering when needed. The ethos of the club is as much as winning is great and needed, development of the boys is key and playing with a smile on your face is essential.

"Everyone involved at Shortwood Utd are extremely proud of what the boys have achieved and how much they have developed this season.

"The overall rebuilding of the club continues and the youth is a major part of that, the overall aim is to continue to develop players so that they will be able to make the step up in to men's football confidently and at a high standard.

"Although the desire is to run more teams the lack of training and playing facilities stop this from happening, we continue to pursue this."

Trials for next season are being held in June, to obtain more details or to apply please email, shortwoodyouth@hotmail.com