A SIGNIFICANT moment in the lifetime of York junior football has seen member clubs agree to merge the Minor League with the Mitchell League.

The new York & District Youth Football League will become live after the June 2, 2020 annual general meeting, which will to close down the two existing leagues.

It is estimated the committee and participating clubs will help provide organised football for more than 4,000 children.

The proposal was put forward jointly by both York & District Minor League and York & Ryedale Mitchell League committees.

This new structure means that players will be able to start their footballing journey at six years of age and continue in one league until they are 16.

The possible merger was discussed at a Football Association Leagues conference at St George’s Park, where Mitchell League Representatives Barry Casterton, David Winterburn and Geoff Hartley were in attendance with North Riding County FA’s football development manager Andy Clay.

It was noted that York and District was quite unique with a split in leagues at under-12s and agreed that by combining the leagues it would reduce duplication for both clubs and committee members.

The Mitchell League committee subsequently agreed to put a proposal to the York Minor League.

Andy Clay opened the negotiations with secretary David Wilson and, through the leadership of chairman Dave King, these remained positive throughout, culminating in a special general meeting where clubs were unanimously in favour to form the new York & District Youth Football League, and "look forward to a sustainable future of junior Football throughout York and district," said a spokesman.

While the York Minor League was formed 112 years ago, the Mitchell League was created just 43 years ago.