Affectionately known as the "Community League", we were formed many years ago by Derby City Council as a service to children in deprived inner city areas. The Council designed the competition so that all matches would be played at central venues (city parks) with no traditional home and away. In this way, Clubs did not have to invest in their own facilities.
With the advent of mini-soccer in the late 90’s and the more recent 9v9 format, the League discovered it was the only league in the City prepared to offer these new formats. The popularity of these new formats has continued to grow year-on-year presenting a substantial challenge to the League and facility providers as we try to accomodate one of the fastest growing sports in the country - kids football.
The control of the League was handed over to member clubs in March 2005 and renamed the Derby Community Mini-Soccer League. Since this time, it has become financially viable and has grown in numbers by around 10% each year. In 2008, the name was abbreviated to Derby Mini-Soccer League to avoid confusion with the Community of Derby Leagues (a strategic Derby Council user focus group). The name was changed to the Derby Junior Football League in 2012 when we formally adopted the 9v9 format at Under 12's.
Currently, Under 7's and Under 8's play on the ATP surface at Derby College, Mackworth whilst Under 9's and Under 10's play at Derby Racecourse. The Under 11's and Under 12's play at Osmaston Park and Alvaston Park. In 2013 we embark on a new partnership with the Bemrose School which will give us access to more pitches. We look forward to extending this model with other facilitiy providers in the future.
- The League is committed to the continued development of the sport and intends to be an `early adopter’ and/or pilot of new initiatives suggested by the governing body.
- The League is committed to implementing a structure and rigor that results in more children enjoying the sport and eliminates poor pitch-side behaviour.
- The League’s aim is to teach children to accept winning and losing in the same light whilst enjoying a healthy sporting pastime.
A Charter Standard League
The League has always insisted on the very best in terms of behaviour and sportsmanship from its members. The RESPECT programme is at the centre of the League's ethical approach to football.
We were presented with our Charter Standard award in 2010 at Pride Park Stadium. Pictured below are (from left to right); Liam Rooney, Daniel Hawksworth, Dave Heron, Ian Birley (Child Welfare Officer), Richard Eaton (Referees Secretary), Steve Nicks (League Secretary), Mike Torrance (Registrations Secretary), Steve Price (Chairman) & Tommy Weightman (Treasurer).
Liam Rooney, Football Development Officer for Derbyshire County FA, said: "The League has devised an informative and creative Football Development Plan that focuses on the key issues within The FA’s National Game Strategy. The football development plan also focuses on the game's workforce; its volunteers, coaches and referees and offers a wide range of opportunities to support coach education and continual development."
The League is fully focused on the challenges ahead, which includes supporting and increasing the number of players and teams within the League, providing better facilities for new formats of the game within the City and improving the quality of football.
In the spring of 2012 the League was awarded the FA's Bronze Level accreditation as part of the Respect and Fairplay Awards for the season 2011/2012. In the summer of 2012 the League was declared the winner of the Derbyshire FA Charter Standard League of the Year.