BRAND new team St Neots Town Youth & Saints have appointed former St Neots Town assistant coach Steve Kuhne as their manager as preparations for their first ever season in senior football go into overdrive.

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The under-21s team, who will groundshare at the Southern League St Neots’ Cozy Stadium, were the surprise addition to Division One of the United Counties League when the new constitutions were announced by the Football Association.

Now the chairman of the new club, Colin Parker, has told The Hunts Post he is “up to his eyesballs” as the club rushes to be ready for the big kick-off.

“Until we had confirmation that we had been accepted into Step 6 everything had been put on hold apart from finalising our groundshare agreement and support package with St Neots Town,” said Parker. “I’m sure that you would agree it’s a fantastically bold step by the FA to recommend to the UCL that a new under-21s development team be allowed to play football at this level.

“It’s interesting that the retention and development of young British footballers should be so much in the news lately.”

The club is expected to draw from the pool of players that were part of the St Neots Town’s under-21s squad that played a series of friendlies last season. Both Parker and Mike Kearns, the chairman of the Southern League Saints, have been at pains to point out that the clubs are entirely separate entities. However, the appointment of Kuhne and the design of the new team’s badge once again highlights the close links between them.

Parker said: “Steve Kuhne has been an integral part of what has gone on at St Neots Town over the past year however he made it clear to the chairman [Kearns] that he wanted to focus on his new business and on more local football for the foreseeable future, hence his resignation [at the end of last season].

“We felt that St Neots Town’s loss could be our gain. Steve was sounded out, so to speak, and as soon as we had confirmation that the under-21s had been accepted into Step 6 we made a formal approach and he keenly accepted.

“We still have ongoing discussions with Lee Kearns, the managing director at St Neots Town, with the aim to expand this support and get him to say yes to requests that thus far he has said ‘no’ to!

“So far he has allowed us to step back in line with regards to an updated version of their new badge – we had the same badge before they redesigned – and to piggy-back on their website until we have ours in place, as well as the confidential groundshare agreement.”

John Weeks, the chairman of the UCL, said: “There is an awful lot of speculation and we will wait to see what unfolds with interest.”

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