By Mick Hydes

PORT Glasgow Juniors have joined forces with a well-established youth club to help develop the next generation of football talent.

The West of Scotland Football League club have created a new partnership with Port Glasgow Junior Community Sports Club (CSC).

Both clubs are based at Parklea Stadium and will link up for a 12-month period before the arrangement is reviewed to form a potential merger into one outfit under the banner ‘In partnership for the community’.

Port Glasgow Juniors Football Club treasurer Chris McKillop told the Tele: "I feel this is a historic moment for Port Glasgow. This partnership will bring huge benefits to the Inverclyde community."

The CSC runs fun football sessions for youngsters from the age of four with 22 teams in total all the way up to under-19s, including girls' football.

It's hoped the new model - with the help of Port Glasgow Juniors' newly-created under-20s team - will offer youngsters a pathway to the professional ranks.

Chris said: "Both clubs will be looking to deliver a best-in-class pathway for kids of Inverclyde to progress through the levels from fun fours to professional football.

"Further benefits will include sharing best practice in our approach to running both clubs' day-to-day activities, a joined-up approach to our engagement and output with the local community and first team match day initiatives for all kids to get involved with.

"This is the beginning of an exciting few months and everyone involved should be proud of the hard work that has gone into making this announcement happen today."

Chairperson of Port Glasgow Junior CSC Kirsty Sorrell said: "We think the partnership will be great for the community and for all the children coming through the age groups.

"We are a Platinum Award Quality Marked Club with 22 teams with over 300 members and I think that the Port Glasgow Juniors will benefit from both clubs coming together.

"We would also like to thank the committee, all coaches, members and our many sponsors and all who support the club who without their involvement we couldn’t give the kids this opportunity."

Kirsty has been involved with the set-up for over 14 years and has two children of her own involved in the club.

Secretary Colin Vize said: "We have over 22 teams, including five girls' teams, and we have been active since 2003 and my own kids have previously benefitted.

"We cater for large numbers and keep getting bigger, and there has been increased demand since Covid restrictions were relaxed, so this is a big time for this partnership."