LANCING United Youth and Lancing Football Club have announced the two teams will merge for next season.
The clubs have been in discussions since September and now an agreement has been reached to form one community club.
This will mean, from next season, Lancing will be able to offer football to juniors from the under-six age group all the way through to adult football.
The plan is for both United Youth and Lancing to run with separately elected committees and a sub-committee will be made up of representatives from both teams.
Lancing chairman Martin Gander admitted his delight after a deal was reached and said: “This is something that I have been looking to do since taking over as chairman at this club.
“I feel now with the new 3G surface laid at Culver Road it provides us with a great opportunity to do so.
“I and United Youth chairman James Taylor have had some really positive conversations over the past couple of months and I’m pleased we have reached an agreement.
“I think it’s massive for Lancing as now we will be able to offer football to juniors from the age of six all the way up until our over-60’s side. This also allows us to provide a clear pathway for youngsters to reach adult football.
“In recent years, we have lost a few players to other sides but this will be able to offer players that pathway now.”
Since forming, Lancing United Youth have never had a set home.
“But now this merger is in place, Culver Road will be their base, with training slots on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.
United Youth chairman Taylor was also pleased to finally come to an agreement with Lancing and said: “It’s great that we can now become one community club.
“In recent seasons, we have lost a few players at 13 or 14 years old to local sides like Worthing United and Worthing Town Youth.
“The main reason for this is because most of our youngsters don’t have a clear path to go into the adult game.
“Now we have merged with Lancing, that is not the case and youngsters thinking about their futures see a clear route to that.
“Culver Road will be our home now and it’s great to be able to use such great facilities.”
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