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First football team launched for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children by Kent County Council

ByCaitlin Webb, local democracy reporter

Kent County Council is setting up the UK's first local football team with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children as players.

Young people who have been separated from their family to flee war or find a better life in the UK are able to try out for the new under 18 team.

Other children in care will also be eligible to try out for the squad, which will join the local league in Maidstone.

Kent County Council is setting up the UK's first local football team with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children as players
Kent County Council is setting up the UK's first local football team with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children as players

The club will initially be all male but there are plans to develop a girls or mixed team in the future.

The council hopes this team will help these vulnerable young people integrate into the local community.

There are also hopes it could open doors for them getting signed by a professional team.

KCC's strategic lead for the unaccompanied asylum seeking children national transfer scheme, Nick Crick, told the corporate parenting panel how some of the young people are very talented players.

He added: "Sometimes because of language barriers they can't get spotted or taken on in terms of academies to progress in their carer.

"Through the support of carers and the controlling migration fund, we are launching this football team later in the spring.

"This will be a competitive team, this is something very exciting."

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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