Canterbury Youth Football Club is an FA Charter Standard Club which has been running for over 30 years.
Our aim is to offers boys and girls from Canterbury and the surrounding area the chance to play football and develop their skills in a safe environment. We operate teams from under seven up to under eighteen.
We are based at the University of Kent in Canterbury where we have state of the art training facilities which include floodlit AstroTurf and 3G pitches, Sports Pavillion with changing rooms, cafe/bar and covered viewing balconies and excellent quality grass pitches for our matches. All of our coaches are FA qualified, and our Head Coach is Level three UEFA B qualified. In addition to this, all of our managers, coaches and officials are fully CRB checked.
We operate one of the best youth policies in Kent with an aim to developing and nurturing young players. Our links with clubs such as Chelsea, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace and Gillingham mean that when ready, our best talent has the opportunity to pursue a professional career in football. The club has produced two England schoolboys Jamie Thornby and Steve Aslett.
Sturry Blues JFC was formed in 1981 by Messer’s Bristley and Kelley to provide soccer for boys in the Sturry, Hersden and Herne areas. The teams played in two-year brackets, i.e. 11 to 12 years, 13 to 14 years and 15 to 16 years competing in the East Kent Youth League, and playing the majority of their home matches at Chislet CW ground in Hersden.
Subsequently, Peter Graves and Dave and Christine Robinson took over the helm. In 1991 they invited Kevin Craddock to create a younger section of the club. Under 7s, 8s, 9s and 10s teams were formed, thanks mainly to the sponsorship of the late Ian Hossick, then patron of the “First and Last” on Herne Common, who provided finance for team kit and equipment. Training under floodlights during the winter months at the University of Kent at Canterbury was introduced with specialist coaching from qualified FA coaches.
Tony Roberts was invited to take over as chairman in 1995. The club was producing many talented players, but with lack of an attached senior club who could offer the opportunity to play at Kent County Youth League level, these lads were being tempted to clubs who could provide them with this chance. The club coaches were disappointed that they had dedicated a lot of time and effort into the coaching, to see them leave and go to other local clubs. It was agreed that an approach was made to Canterbury City FC, who at that time played in the Kent League, with the view to forming Canterbury City Youth FC. This was agreed after lengthy discussion and enabled the team to join the Kent Youth League.
As a direct result of the re-introduction of Canterbury City FC in season 2007-08, the junior club held an EGM to discuss its future and the impact of the senior club on the junior one! The privilege of fielding teams in the Valley Express League (VEL) that had been Canterbury Youth FC’s would now pass back to Canterbury City FC after 11 years. We had, in fact, kept the name of Canterbury City Football Club going through our youth teams for seven years while there was no senior side.
The club had operated under the names of Sturry Blues and Canterbury City Youth since 1996 and with the VEL teams now moving on it was decided we would play under the one club name and Canterbury Youth Football Club was chosen. It was felt the club had grown from its original Sturry base all those years ago and that the name Canterbury reflects more fully the geographic area we embrace.