Solent Stars - Youth Teams

In the early years of the Solent Stars club, there existed the foundation of a development programme. The men's organisation started a Solent Stars Junior team in the early 1980s under the coaching of local schoolteacher, Tom Craver. Mick Byrne also had a period in charge of the early teams. The initial two sponsors were Wadham Stringer and Sperrings.

First mention is made of the team in the Solent Stars History in the 1986/87 season when a photograph shows the successful team for that season (the photo is also shown below). Of that team, Steve Chant, Dean Owen and Jon Rumsey went on to play for the senior men. They were joined shortly after by Joe Morant, Martin Dowdall, Alex Byrne and Marc Barfoot in a period that demonstrated a successful outcome to the initial stages of a youth programme.

Over the following seasons many clinics and camps helped stimulate interest in the game and develop players. The Solent Stars Youth programme also helped the region successfully compete in the well-renowned Easter International Youth Tournament, including winning the tournament in 1988.

In the mid-1990s a huge growth took place when Solent Stars were able to enter youth teams in many national leagues. The details for that period plus up-to-date information can be found on the Solent Kestrels website, although the debt to the originators and developers of the initial programmes, in particular, Tom Craver, should also be acknowledged.

Above: The 1986 Easter Festival Team

Above: The 1986/87 Junior Team

Above: The 1988 Easter Festival Team

Above: A Southampton Schoolboys squad competing in Geneva

Above: The 1988/89 Junior Team

Above: The 1988/89 Junior Team end of season summary

Above: Mick Byrne's programme notes from 1994/95

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