Come and cheer on the Newport County AFC Junior Academy U14s on Saturday
The Junior Premier League (JPL) originally started in the 2011/12 season by a group of large clubs from the Midlands and Southern England. The clubs involved were interested in developing their players through better coaching and better quality matches and Newport County AFC are very proud to be able say that we were one of the original founder members.
Since then the league has quickly expanded across England and is easily now the most exciting FA youth league around. Currently it has 62 clubs involved from as far as Basingstoke (London), up to Coventry and down to Southampton.
It hosts a number of elite local clubs as well as conference clubs and football league clubs like ourselves, such as West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City, Forest Green Rovers, Rushden and Diamonds, Kidderminster Harriers, Exeter, Yeovil, Worcester, Oxford and Reading to name a few.
This Saturday 9th May the Junior Premier League Cup Finals will be taking place at Rodney Parade. It's the first time they have come to Wales to host the finals and we are very excited about it, especially as our U14s will be competing against Aylestone Park from Leicester with a chance of lifting the Cup.
The tournament began back in September where clubs were put into a league and had to qualify for the Cup by finishing in the top 8. County qualified after wins against Cirencester, Bristol IC, South Gloucester and Arsenal SS (Somerset).
In the last 16 County played Evesham United and after finishing the game 3-3 with goals from Lewis Collins, Lucas Murray and Callum Eva it went to the dreaded penalty shoot out. County eventually going through to the quarter finals winning the shoot out dramatically 11-10.
In the quarter finals County took on North Somerset. It was a really close game and the score at half time was 1-1 courtesy of an excellent header from County's Rivel Madenborough. In the second half County upped the tempo and were rewarded with Owen Taylor hitting a superb strike to make it 2-1. North Somerset piled on the pressure during the last 10 minutes but County held on to progress to the semi finals.
The semi finals took place 3 weeks ago when County took on Fareham Town from Southampton and came away with a 3-0 win. Cameron Gaucci, Lewis Collins and Owen Taylor getting the all important goals to earn County a place in the final.
Newport County Academy U14s squad consist of boys from all across South Wales but the nucleus of the squad are local lads.
Squad; Jake Clarke, Lewis Collins, Chris Ezard, Robbie Gambarinni, Cameron Gauci, Brad Hanbury, Benji Hoppe, Harri Shelley, Owain Stephenson and Sam Swann (Newport). Ally Dare (Chepstow), Owen Taylor (Abergavenny), Ioan Richards (Abertillery), Niall Reed (Caerphilly), Jack Thomas (Blackwood), Tom Atkinson, Lucas Murray (Penarth), Callum Eva, Sean Kelly, Taylor Sherard, Rivel Madenborough (Cardiff).
Our U14s coaching team consists of John Nash, Steve Johnson and Newport County player Lee Minshull. Lee joined the U14s coaching team back in August last year and will now be swapping his usual role of playing for the County at Rodney Parade for the dugout. Lee brings with him a wealth of experience and football knowledge and has been an excellent role model for the boys to look up to.
So please come over and support the boys if you can on what promises to be a great day of youth football.
Admission; Adult - £2 Children - Free
The days schedule is as follows;
U13s - 10 30 am ko Coventry City v WBA Gloucester
U14s - 12 30 pm ko Newport County v Aylestone Park
U15s - 2 30 pm ko South Gloucester v Aylestone Park
U16s - 4 30 pm ko Oxford City v Sandhurst Town
We would like to thank Mark Jones (Rodney Parade Manager) for allowing the Finals to take place at Rodney Parade at such short notice.