District's annual event in conjunction with Bolton Wanderers held at the club last Saturday and Sunday
The club hosted the annual Bolton, Bury and District Football League finals at the Reebok Stadium and Lostock training facility last weekend with 36 teams from across the county taking part.
An event which has been in place for the past six years since the formation of a partnership between Bolton Wanderers and the league itself, the tournament also saw the unveiling of ten youngsters who will join the club’s academy next season - eight of which play in the BBDFL.
The league has grown from around 200 teams to the current total of 565 with 7,500 players, 1,200 coaches and 140 referees involved.
“This year’s competition was a fantastic year for talent,” Bolton Wanderers’ academy recruitment officer John Haworth said. “There are so many promising youngsters in the league and that is vindicated by the fact that we have boys from the BBDFL in every age group at the academy.
“It is also an exceptional achievement that eight of those who will join us after the summer are from the local area – given that we have had a number of local players making the breakthrough into the first team in recent months is evidence of the quality youngsters in the borough.
“This is without a doubt the strongest year so far in terms of ability which is a great sign for the future of football in the town.”
Warren Barlow, the chairman of the Bolton, Bury and District Football League echoed John’s sentiments by adding: “I would like to thank everybody at Bolton Wanderers who makes this partnership what it is, because it truly is second to none.
“The relationship brings so many benefits for us as a league, especially the opportunity for our youngsters to have direct access to their local club alongside Bolton having the first chance to see young talent before any other clubs.
“From the perspective of the players, they get to play on a stage that few grassroots teams could ever imagine and in turn that helps us to attract players and increase participations and the pool of talent in the area.”
He continued: “As a lifelong fan of the club myself along with the majority of the committee, we all strongly believe that this association does more for the grassroots football community than anything else, with many leagues across the UK contacting us to ask about the partnership itself.
“To be working in conjunction with a club such as Bolton Wanderers raises the profile of the league and the clubs within it and consequently leads to access to sponsors, funding streams and voluntary organisations that may help them grow and develop.
“Since the finals, we have had another three clubs asking to join the league as they want to be a part of this exceptional partnership.
“I believe this is a testament to hard work of everybody involved across the league itself and Bolton Wanderers Football Club and long may it continue.”
For more information on the Bolton, Bury and District Football League and their partnership with the club, please visit http://bbdfl.org.