Kent set for revised league structure
Changes made to non-League football in Kent to aid clubs' development.
A new league structure within the County of Kent is set to be developed with the introduction of a new division at Step 6 of the National League System. The division will bridge the gap between the Kent League at Step 5 and the Kent County League at Step 7. It is hoped that the new structure will be in place for the start of the 2011-12 season.
FA Leagues and Clubs Manager Mike Appleby stated that: “This is an exciting opportunity for the future of senior football in Kent. The current gap between Steps 5 and 7 is too wide and it is vital that a division is put in place to bridge this gap. It is understood that it will take time for the clubs interested in this division to attain the full grading requirements but we must start the process as quickly as possible. The Kent League has been very successful in promoting clubs to the higher levels of the league structure and we must ensure that in future years there is a flow of clubs coming up from the lower levels.”
Kent League Chairman Denise Richmond commented: “The Kent League continues to be committed to the formation of a Step 6 division. Our record promoting clubs is second to none in recent seasons and we'll continue to work with our current constitution and those that form the new Step 6 to help them progress in the National League System.
We've been pushing for this development for some time and are delighted that all parties have worked together in the best interests of football in Kent. There are still some challenging times ahead but our focus remains to form the new Step 6 division in any way we can."
Cyril Windiate, Chairman of the Kent County League, added: “We have always encouraged those clubs wishing to climb the non-League ladder and the success of VCD Athletic, Maidstone Utd and Folkestone Invicta who have all passed from the County League to the Kent League and beyond is testament to this.
"Clearly much work is required to bring matters to a successful conclusion and the continued co-operation of ambitious clubs is essential in this aim.
"We view this joint initiative as providing a further opportunity that is in the best interests of Kent soccer and look forward to working with our partners”