‘We’re one big happy county club’: Ducks boss hails merger as first step of homecoming

Tony Joyce (right) is delighted by United's merger with Aylesbury Town
Tony Joyce (right) is delighted by United's merger with Aylesbury Town

Aylesbury United manager Tony Joyce says his club’s merger with Aylesbury Town is the first step in their ‘long-awaited’ return to the town.

While it has clearly not affected his high-flying Ducks side too much – they currently sit second in the Spartan South Midlands Premier League –Joyce has often bemoaned the lack of a youth and reserve set up at the 115-year-old club.

But the Ducks will now boast a comprehensive set up of 17 teams, an additional 15 to United’s current first and ladies’ sides.

“It’s great for the club and it increases our pool of players,” Joyce said.

“The clubs will keep running as they do but just all under the Aylesbury United banner.

“It means we’re very much back in Aylesbury and I think this is hopefully the first step to us coming home.

“We’re one big happy county club and I’m sure our ground will be the next thing on the agenda.”

United’s merger with Aylesbury Town, which was revealed in last week’s Bucks Herald, will see the club cater for youngsters from four right up to the first team

and will also have a disability side.

In addition there will be a Sunday senior team and Joyce has already mapped out how he plans to utilise the new set up to his advantage.

“The youth is the key thing for me really about all this,” he said.

“I’ll be looking more at the Under 16/17/18 teams and it means there’s more players available to us.

“It also means we’ve got players who have the connection to Aylesbury which is important as well.

“It’s true that most really top young players will be snapped up by the big clubs but there are players who perhaps miss the boat and when they get to the Under 15/16 level and that’s where we can bring them in and give them first team experience.

“I know there is a Sunday senior side as well.

“I’m not so sure how that will work, and whether any of the players in that side are good enough to get into our first team I probably doubt to be honest but it’s another team and another branch to the club,” he added.