Last week Linfield Football Club celebrated the first year of Linfield D.F.C, and what a year it's been.
We've come a long way in the space of a year, and long may it continue.
As the numbers were small at the inception, we started training in the Linfield heartland of the "Village" at Donegall Road Methodist Church hall with a handful of players. It's safe to say we've grown a lot since then and we'd like to pass on our sincere gratitude to the Church for the use of their facilities to help us get started.
On the very first night of training back in 2019, the coaches turned up to only a handful of players, but it was a group of players full of heart and willing to learn in the true Linfield tradition.
Fast forward a year, and we are now training two nights a week on outdoor pitches on both nights, and what a difference it makes.
We now have 15 juniors on our books with the majority of these players training every Wednesday night, the improvement in the footballing ability of these players from when we first started to now has been exceptional.
Also, it is worth noting that the social aspect to these kids at training is quite remarkable, from not knowing each other to the formation of a group of friends throughout the team and everyone interacting in every training session.
The children's parents regularly comment on how much Linfield D.F.C has not only improved their kid's footballing ability but their life in general.
On the first night of training for the seniors, we had very few players which has now grown to 30 senior players on our books with all players making it along to at least one training session a week.
This is another incredible group of players who are proud play for our team; every single player in this group puts unbelievable effort into training every week. The few that started with us at the club have developed immensely, and they have adapted brilliantly to the ever-growing numbers at training.
Both groups of players turn up every week as enthusiastic as the week before and willing to learn, and our coaches simply couldn't ask for a better group of players to work with.
As an insight for those who have never seen us train or knows a lot about our training methods:-
A typical night of training for our two teams includes a brief of what will happen that night at training, warm-up, two skilled based drills and a small-sided game to finish (which does get very competitive every session). The will to win as strong in the Linfield D.F.C. as it is in our first team.
Lastly, we want to say a big thank you to all the parents who have continued to support us throughout our first year, from training in a warm church hall to standing at Blythefield 3G/Nettlefied Pitch in all sorts of weather.
Linfield D.F.C. cannot praise your continued commitment and support highly enough by bringing your kids along every week as it would have been so easy to decide not to come along on those cold winter nights, but in true Linfield spirit, you stuck at it, and we as a club are now reaping the rewards.
Please stay safe in these uncertain times and here's to many more successful years of Linfield D.F.C.
Audaces Fortuna Juvat
Together we can