Bedford Town Youth Football Club
Bedford Town Youth were first affiliated in 1989, when a team was entered in the then Bovis Homes Chiltern League, at Under 13’s and finished a creditable 3rd in their league. The senior team did not appear on the scene until a year later, when they entered the South Midlands League, playing their home games at Allen Park.
Bedford Town Youth have always affiliated as a separate Club, originally with close links to the main Club and were completely autonomous and self financing, with a strong committee and teams finding their own kit sponsors and a main club sponsor, whose funds are used to put the managers through coaching courses and bring in external coaches, to either coach the coaches or coach the boys.
2004 saw a parting of Bedford Town Youth from the senior Club, when talks broke down on the future direction of the Youth. We felt that ‘it weren’t broke and didn’t need mending’. We had been running independently for 15 years and did not want to lose our identity. Bedford Town Youth has since gone from strength to strength, being awarded Charter Standard Development Club of the Year in 2004/05 and again in 2005/06. Our publication ‘The Manager’s Handbook’ is a highly acclaimed document on running a youth section.
We have always tried to take the boys on outings, when the opportunity arises and recently took 25 youngsters to see England Under 16’s at the new Wembley Stadium and last season had two visits to Stadium Milton Keynes for England Under 21 and Under 19 games.
As we move into our 20th year, the fruits of our early teams are now playing a good standard of football locally, for teams such as Bedford Town, Bedford F.C., Hitchin, Ampthill, Stotfold and St. Neots. Our role of honour includes current and past players such as Rene Howe, who came through from our under 9’s and recently played at Wembley in the Division Two play-off final for Rochdale. Also, Gavin Hoyte, Ian Brown, Derwayne Stupple, Josh Sozzo, Jonathon Woolf and Aaron Cavill. Indeed over recent days former Bedford own Youth Managers have been seen at the New Eyrie, watching their sons either play for the 1st team or the reserves, namely Nigel Cavill, Paul Deverall, Martin Hole and Steve (Chunky) Damon and their sons respectively, Aaron, Ashley, Tom and Tom.
Bedford Town Youth regularly entered the F.A. Youth Cup and one season reached the 1st Round, playing away at Swansea and only being narrowly defeated 3-2. The Club were also keen participants in the East Anglia Cup (Easy Cup), until the Competition’s demise in 2003, shortly after Bedford Town Youth had incredibly won three Easy Cups that year at Wivenhoe at Under 12, Under 13 and Under 16 (Rene Howe played in this team), a feat never before achieved by one club winning Trophies at three age groups in the same year, and we still hold the silverware.
Boys have represented the County at both under 16 and 18 and others have had trials for England School Boys.