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York
Celebrating And Focusing On New Season
Dave Roberts, Sports Features
York City Wembley mascot winner Ben Ward
Well, we are at that time of year again where thoughts turn towards celebrating this season's achievements as well a focus falling on the new season ahead.

Away from our professional clubs, those in the semi-professional and amateur worlds have something to celebrate. Despite the heartbreak of relegation to the National League North, York City still have a date with Wembley when they tackle Macclesfield in the FA Trophy final.

This has set up a wonderful day for young Ben Ward. The seven year old has won the chance to walk out on Wembley's hallowed turf with his York City heroes as club mascot. Ben has been following the Minstermen home and away with his granddad since the age of two and still remembers his first ever game when he took his trusted teddy, Des Bear with him on Boxing Day 2011. We hope you enjoy the day Ben!

Talking cup finals, a little further north there was something of a surprise as Whitby Town eliminated Premier League Middlesbrough's Under 23s from the North Riding FA Senior Cup. It's the first time in long time that the 55 times winners Middlesbrough have not reached the final and it is seven years since the Seasiders last entered the non-league competition.

Whitby will now face North East Counties League side Pickering Town at the Riverside Stadium on 15 May in a final that will be streamed live on the County FA's facebook site.

York City FC Foundation girls
There's a real push within The FA to grow girls and women's football. This comes off the back of the success of the England Lionesses, currently ranked fourth in the world. The FA has set itself an objective to double girls' football participation by 2020

Part of this sees the launch of Wildcats Girls football programme. The initiative will see 200 Wildcats Girls' Football Clubs opening throughout England this spring. The move will provide girls aged from 5 to 11 with regular opportunities to play football.

Also by Dave Roberts...
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Grassroots Football Column - Summer
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Wildcats clubs are opening from Sheffield up to Middlesbrough and from Halifax to Hull, so if you want to add your name to the three million girls and women already playing the game this coming year, get in touch with your local county football association and find out more.

As well as this, our clubs are constantly scouring the county for unearthed talent. York City's Foundation has announced its trials for the new season ahead. The Tier 1 club has seen six of its players receive international recognition this season alone.

It's trials for the 2017/18 season take place in June and are open for girls from under 10 to under 16. North Riding FA or York City Foundation have more details on this.

While on the theme of women's football, we don't have Yorkshire involvement in this year's Women's FA Cup Final, that ended in the 5th Round when the Doncaster Belles lost to Chelsea. But the Wembley day out is still there for the county's football fans to enjoy. Kids get into the home of football for free when Birmingham take on Manchester City on 13 May.

Finally, has all this talk whetted your appetite to work in the Grassroots game? If so, get in touch with West Riding FA as they have an opening for a Football Development Officer.

This is a full-time role and comes at an exciting time for the county FA as it gets set to open its new full-size 3G artificial football pitch.

The Football Development Officer will help drive innovation, creativity and customer engagement. The closing date for applications is 1pm on Monday 8th May 2017.

Celebrating And Focusing On New Season, 30th April 2017, 22:00 PM