Politician calls for 'valuable' youth football team to be reinstated within league (From Enfield Independent)
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Politician Cllr Andrew Stafford calls for 'valuable' youth football team Rap-Aid to be reinstated within league
A politician is on a mission to get a football youth club reinstated within a football league.
Councillor Andrew Stafford, who represents Edmonton Green, believes Rap-Aid Football Club, based in Pymmes Park, is a “valuable asset” to the community.
The club, which comprises more than 300 young people in ten youth teams, was not invited to play competitive football with Cheshunt Youth League this season.
Cllr Stafford is in talks with club secretary Tim Aleshe and said he will write to the league to find out if anything can be done to solve the situation.
The Labour politician said: “We regard Rap-Aid as a valuable asset to the community. It is better if children are playing sport than hanging about in the street.
“We are writing to the league to see if there is a way they can be reinstated next year and if they can keep playing friendly games because we are anxious to keep the kids together as a unit.”
Tim Aleshe, who set up the club three years ago to unite youths from across Enfield and Haringey, is pleased Cllr Stafford is helping the team.
He said: “If anyone can help us, he can.
“Everyone feels down and they are saying they are going to quit football – they are losing motivation.
“People are dropping out because when they go to school they know their school friends are playing in the league. The kids are talking about it at school, asking each other ‘are we going to be playing this weekend?’”
The young people in teams ranging from under seven year olds to under 15s, continue to play friendly matches and take part in weekly training sessions.
However, Mr Aleshe believes many children will stop taking part if they cannot play competitively.
Mike Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Amateur Football Alliance who is looking into the case, said he awaits Cllr Stafford's letter "with interest."
However, he said: “The facts remain the same; the application for one team only in the Cheshunt League was made six weeks after the closing date. Rap-Aid and several other clubs were similarly late.
“The team involved appears to have been entered into another league, so on the face of it no boy is without football.
“This whole affair has given rise to a number of complaints against Rap Aid and some of these are currently being investigated.”