Aylesbury United have merged with one of the biggest youth football clubs in the Vale in a bid to re-establish themselves in their hometown.
The Ducks, who have been playing outside of Aylesbury since 2006 and currently groundshare with Leighton Town, did not have a youth or reserve side before joining forces with Aylesbury Town.
But as a result of the merger they will now add an incredible 15 teams to their existing first and ladies’ sides, catering from ages four upwards.
Ducks chairman Graham Read says it puts down an important marker for the 115-year-old club.
He said: “We are proud and delighted to have agreed to join forces to provide a dynamic, positive and progressive football club.
“It will give youngsters both boys and girls, able and disabled, an excellent and exciting opportunity to enjoy the beautiful game in the area and wherever possible a route, help and encouragement to progress to senior football.
“It’s what we needed and it’s what they (Town) wanted. It’s a progressive, positive move and really accelerates us in our five-year plan and our mission to come home.”
The partnership between United and Town begins with immediate effect and the pair say they will be ‘working in partnership to develop a formula for a successful combined club’.
All the teams will be playing under the Aylesbury United banner from the 2013/14 season. The club hopes it will give young Aylesbury footballers a clear path to their first team.
Rivals Aylesbury FC, who are based in the town, already offer an extensive youth set up which allows progression to their own first team.
And now the Ducks can offer a similar route to senior competitive matches.
In a joint statement, the clubs hinted the merger could be the first step in the quest to bring United back to Aylesbury.
The statement said: “The directors and management committees of both club realise there is a great deal of work to do but as we, both individually and collectively, have the same vision for the future of football in Aylesbury feel we have the right team and experience to move forward generally and also be ready for the return of The Ducks to Aylesbury.”
NEW DUCKS 17-TEAM STRUCTURE
> The Townies – a Saturday morning football club for boys and girls aged 4-10 which held at Broughton Junior School (10-11.30am)
> Under 6 side
> Under 7 side
> Under 8 & Under 8 youth sides
> Under 9 side
> Under 10 side
> Under 13 & Under 13 youth sides
> Under 15 side
> Under 18 mens & ladies’ sides
> Aylesbury Town Sunday seniors
> Disability team – new joint
initiative coming in the new year
> Aylesbury ladies
> Aylesbury United first team