SHOREHAM Football Club chairman Stuart Slaney believes the youth merger between Mussels and Adur Athletic will only benefit the local area.
The merger was announced at the weekend and the move will see the younger age groups of both teams become one under the name of Shoreham & Adur Football Club.
Slaney feels the merger will give youngsters in the area a greater chance of getting into the sport.
He said: “It’s great that we have been able to join forces with Adur Athletic.
“This move will see us increase the number of teams we have at youth level, which is great.
“The aim for us, as a club, is always to try to make sure that youth gets a chance and this will only enhance that.
“This move will also give a number of youngsters a chance to continue to develop from youth football into the senior game.
“At a number of clubs, once you reach the age of 16 you do not get the chance to stay with that club.
“However, here you have that chance and the merger will give a few more players that option if they wish to take it.
“This will give us the chance to get a lot more boys and girls of differing abilities into football.
“It’s a great move for both clubs and everyone is really excited about what is to come.”
In the first season, the side will have 15 youth teams, along with a ladies and girls’ side.
Slaney is also looking to expand the number of teams further in coming seasons.
He said: “The view is to try to add a few more teams in the next few seasons aswell.
“It will be a case of seeing how the first season goes but I’m hopeful of adding to the number of teams that we have in due course.
“We will also have an under-21 side here next season, so there is a lot to look forward too.”
The club will hold an inter-club tournament on May 24, which has been set up to bring everyone together as a youth club.
The merger will come into force on June 1 in preparation for the new season and a new club badge has already been designed.