Joy at awards for the Peterborough & District Junior Alliance League

David (Left) and Hazel (centre) Burgess collect the Northants FA 'Grassroots League of the Year' award.
David (Left) and Hazel (centre) Burgess collect the Northants FA 'Grassroots League of the Year' award.
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It’s been a time of great celebration at the Peterborough & District Junior Alliance League.

The ever-expanding competition welcomed eight new clubs to the 2019-20 constitution at their annual meeting and were then named ‘Grassroots League of the Year’ at the Northants FA presentation night.

Hazel Burgess (left) presents the Peterborough & District JUnior Alliance Junior Alliance League secretary of the year award to Sylvia Roberts of Gunthorpe Harriers.

Hazel Burgess (left) presents the Peterborough & District JUnior Alliance Junior Alliance League secretary of the year award to Sylvia Roberts of Gunthorpe Harriers.

It was a great night for Junior Alliance League clubs as Peterborough Northern Star won the Northants Grassroots Club of the Year, while Stanground Sports won the same category in the Hunts League and Deeping United won the Grassroots Project of the Year in the Lincs League.

“It just shows the strength of the league at every level in every county,” general secretary Hazel Burgess said.

“And all age groups have increased in numbers for next season so it’s very encouraging.”

The League now boasts 65 different clubs and the number of teams competing from under seven to under 14 level has risen from 360 to 397 teams.

The League was originally formed in 1981 with 16 teams!

The growth can be put down greatly to expert organisation and the dedication of volunteers, particularly the husband and wife team of David (chairman) and Hazel (general secretary) Burgess.

Hazel said: “It was an emotional night at the Northants FA awards for us and the reaction from our clubs to the award has been overwhelming. I’ve been choking up with some of the things that have been said.

“We had one letter in particular from a club that travelled through our leagues thanking us for our efforts which made me very emotional. We are very proud of our league ad the clubs in it.”

The new clubs to enter are British School of Sport, Kings Cliffe JFC, Ketton FC, Nene Valley FC, Pinchbeck United Youths, Stilton United Colts, Terrington Tigers and Whittlesey Athletic.

Next season a new cup competition will be held for the under 11 and under 13 age groups with the finals planned for a local venue with a stadium.

The new cup will be sponsored by Bell Formwork Services.

The League hand out most of their awards at cup finals, but a handful were made at the annual meeting with Sylvia Roberts of Gunthorpe Harriers winning the chairman’s award for secretary of the year.

Thorpe Wood Rangers, Wisbech St Mary and Crowland won the Peterborough Referees Association Sporting Team awards.