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40 new teams await junior football's big kick off

IF YOU'RE wondering why you bother with football after watching England perform so abysmally during Wednesday night’s fiasco in Belfast, the answer can be found across the parks of Maidstone this weekend.

About 400 children will experience the thrill of playing a competitive football game for the first time ever.

The Invicta Primary League season starts on Saturday and 40 teams will be playing their first ever league games in the Under-8s section.

A total of nearly 2,000 children, aged between eight and 12, will be playing in the Invicta League over the weekend, after months of preparation by league officials.

Press secretary John Harrison said: "It takes a lot of hard work. We’ve got a committee of 14 people and the work never stops."

All of them are unpaid volunteers, working an average of eight hours per week and all do it for the love of the game.

Mr Harrison added: "The league secretary Steve Beaumont does about 20 hours a week, which is nigh on a full-time job. He’s a hero."

The Maidstone Primary League season also starts this weekend, with an estimated 1,800 players aged between 12 and 15 appearing for 120 teams.

The MPL is thriving in its 35th year and had to refuse a number of applications from teams this summer because a shortage of volunteers means it is running at full capacity.

The Kent Messenger is introducing a new results service for both the IPL and the MPL next week.

The paper will also be running a club in focus feature, taking an in-depth look at both the new teams and the long-established sides in the area.

For details of how to get your team involved, see page 13 of your free sports supplement in this week's Kent Messenger.

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