LOCAL FOOTBALL: Huntingdon clubs will become United as link with Rowdies provides a footballing pathway for young players

Bob Warby, chairman of Huntingdon Rowdies and Huntingdon United.

Bob Warby, chairman of Huntingdon Rowdies and Huntingdon United. - Credit: Archant

A new footballing alliance has been formed in Huntingdon – following a chance conversation between influential figures at two clubs.

Huntingdon United, who boast two adult teams in the Cambs League, and the Huntingdon Town Rowdies colts operation – with 13 junior sides at ages ranging from Under 7 to Under 16 - have joined forces to create a pathway for local talent.

The partnership has stemmed from initial dialogue between United manager Lee Milton and Rowdies chairman Bob Warby, who will now also take on the same post for United.

“Bob made contact with me to see if our reserve side would be able to accommodate a few youngsters from Rowdies,” said Milton.

“We had a chat about our clubs and I mentioned that we were currently without a chairman. Bob said straight away that he might be interested in the role.

“I really like his ambitions for young footballers in the town and they are shared by me. Far too many lads drift away from football at Under 16/17 levels and hopefully we can provide the pathway to keep them in the game. I see this as a positive move for our two clubs and the whole Huntingdon area.”

United have been without a chairman since Lenny Smith stepped down in the summer following 30 years of service.

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Warby was appointed as chairman of Rowdies a couple of months ago. He is a former manager and vice chairman of non-league club Huntingdon Town, but left a few weeks ago.

Rowdies and Town are co-tenants at the Jubilee Park site on the outskirts of Huntingdon, but are understood to have never formed a formal footballing arrangement despite the efforts of Warby in the past couple of years.

Warby said: “The link with Town isn’t terminal – it is purely parked until things change with them.

“My utopia for Rowdies is for us to create links with as many senior football clubs in the local area as we possibly can. It’s important to have an exit route into senior football for kids.

“I can see United are a very ambitious club. This is the lowest level of football I’ve been involved in, but Lee’s vision and passion made my decision very easy.

“Creating a youth department is key to any football club’s future so it makes sense to align the town’s two largest clubs.

“We’ll work hard to endeavour to make it a success and see where it can take us.”