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Tue, Oct

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SEVENTEEN clubs, participating in three age groups, will contest the 2011 season of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation's National Youth League, which kicks off today.

The launch of the new season, as well as the 2010 prizegiving ceremony, was held on Tuesday at Jaffa Restaurant, Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain.

The new campaign will see a total of 38 teams--playing in the under-13, under-15 and under-17 divisions--contesting the third edition of the competition, which is being funded by a $650,000 grant through the "Win with CONCACAF initiative".

The National Youth League starts today and concludes at the end of July.

Among the clubs taking part in the League are Joe Public, 1st FC Santa Rosa, Eagles United, WASA FC, Club Sando, St Francois Nationals, Stokely Vale FC, St Clair Coaching School, 1976 FC Phoenix FC, Roxborough Lakers, Mayaro Spurs, Moruga FC, M&M Harvard, Queen's Park Cricket Club, Real Maracas, Westside Stars and Cap Off Youths.

New to the competition is the addition of a Tobago leg featuring 1976 Phoenix FC, Stokely Vale, St Clair Coaching School and Roxborough Lakers.

When the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF), in collaboration with All Sport Promotions, hosted the National Youth League 2010 prizegiving ceremony, Josh Toussaint (M&M Harvard), Xae-Pierre De Fou (1st FC Santa Rosa) and Valdez Perez (1976 Phoenix FC) were named last season's Most Promising players in the Under-14, Under-16 and Under-18 divisions, respectively.

Roland "Rolly" Forde, chairman of the Youth Committee and member of the TTFF executive committee, said it was pleasing to see the progress of the National Youth League, which he said is key to the development of youth football and will be used as a pool for selection of national youth players.

"We at the TTFF are quite excited about the 2011 season as we realise more and more the importance of more emphasis being placed on youth development and our team at the TTFF is working towards ensuring that no stone is left unturned in this effort to raise the level of our youth programmes," Forde added.