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Rawcliffe U19 on brink of double
12:20pm Saturday 21st April 2012 in Junior football
Rawcliffe Football Club under-19s are on the brink of a remarkable double success, writes Jack Bradshaw.
They won the York FA Under-19 Cup final last weekend and are currently six points clear at the top of the York FA U19s League.
Manager Graham Keller said: “I’m very proud of the players. They have gelled as a team and just turn up every Sunday to enjoy their football.
“People often say to me, ‘that must be hard work coaching U19s’, but I say ‘no it isn’t’. They’re a really good group of individuals who play for each other and have great desire.”
Wigginton Grasshoppers, their opponents in the cup final at Poppleton United’s ground, were by no means an easy team to face on paper. Their recent 13-3 thrashing of Elvington Harriers was testament to that.
But Rawcliffe triumphed 5-0 thanks to a man-of-the-match performance from George Bissett.
Said Keller: “I expected it to be a tight game, but we scored a couple of terrific goals in the first half which allowed us to dictate in the second.”
Meanwhile in the league, Rawcliffe have won 20 out of 21 fixtures this season, averaging an incredible eight goals per game and amassing a stunning goal difference of plus-154.
Their performances went up a couple of gears at the turn of the year, notable results being a 15-0 win against Easingwold in January and a remarkable 21-1 annihilation of Strensall last month. They now only need four points from their last three games to secure the title.
On the local rivalry with Rawcliffe Rangers, Keller said: “It’s a friendly rivalry. I’ve been a coach for 12 years now so we all know each other quite well.”
The York FA U19s League was founded in 2008 and it has been an immense success, according to Keller.
“It helps to keep the youngsters interested, because by the age of 16 many of them turn away from football.
“It’s a brilliant concept and the league is really well run, so I think it should be embraced elsewhere.”