STEVE Dorey’s Scarborough Athletic under-19s will finally get into action for the first time next Friday evening.
On March 4, Boro’s newly-formed under-19s team will play their first game - a friendly against Bridlington Town u19s under the lights at Bishop Burton College, kick-off 7:45pm.
As club officials behind the scenes work hard to secure a floodlit venue for entry into the Northern Alliance league next season, the side has been steadily coming together since Athletic invited current North Riding FA under-16s coach Dorey to manage the new team.
Over the past few months Dorey has built a squad from which players are already progressing into Boro’s Reserves in the Humber Premier League, and the side has sponsorships in place for the rest of the present season and the coming campaign.
Dorey, who formerly managed Pickering Town under-19s, said: “The progression with the side has been very encouraging and we have a healthy number of players committed to working with us. We are certainly heading in a positive direction.
“Due to the adverse weather conditions of recent months, we have struggled to get friendlies up to now due to a combination of fixture backlogs and trying to protect already vulnerable playing surfaces.
“A number of teams have been in touch such as Nostell MW and Wakefield, to say that they would accommodate us towards the end of the season and in the close season so hopefully the summer months will be busy for us.”
The under-19s are training alongside the reserve team in separate sessions, combining sessions where it is possible to bring the players together.
Two youngsters have already made an appearance for the Reserve team.
Forward Alex Bowman, 19, and midfielder Glen Hopkins, 16, played against Howden at the start of February - Hopkins scoring in the 3-3 draw.
Dorey said: “I received glowing reports from Steve Brennan about both lads, so this is a pleasing partnership that can hopefully progress further in future weeks, months and seasons.”
Off the field the under-19s have already been sponsored by locally-based internet sports souvenirs firm Premier League Sports, who will adorn the team kit next season.
And the players all have brand new tracksuits, courtesy of Scarborough Youth Council funding.
Dorey said: “Thanks for the tracksuits go to the Sports Council, Ayton manager Mark Plumpton for supplying them through his Goal Sports business, and East Coast Promotions for the embroidery.
“We also have a Race Night organised on Saturday to help raise much needed funds for the under-19s and the Reserves. The event starts at 8pm at The Trafalgar Pub in Scarborough.”
Dorey is keen to see the players progress for the future of football in Scarborough.
He said: “The lads have shown excellent commitment to the team, training weekly without fixtures to work towards. There are a lot of talented footballers in the team, and I hope that this can be the foundation for future Scarborough Athletic teams.
“Once the team begins playing friendlies together, we can progress to playing competitive matches next season. This will help form a real partnership between ourselves, the Reserves and the first team.
“The whole point of this team is developing and nurturing young talent and providing a stepping stone into semi-professional football.
“If our performances in matches can reflect the effort and ability on the training pitch, then we’ll be in for a very exciting season.”