A-Z of Clubs continued: From Halesowen to Lye
HALESOWEN TOWN - Spent one season with the MFYL in 92/93, finishing third in the Southern division. They returned to finish third in the Central in 97/98, then sixth in the new Premier section the following season, before scrapping their YTS scheme and pulling out of the league.
HARROW HILL - The Gloucestershire side became the third Hellenic League club to join the MFYL, following Pegasus Juniors and Ross Town into the league for the 00/01 season before leaving at the end last season.
#HEDNESFORD TOWN - Only one other club has spent more seasons in the league than Hednesford, who are now in the 17th campaign. They have two league titles and three runners-up places to their credit, as well as being one of only three clubs in the league to have won the League Cup twice. Had a three-year break from 95-98, but returned with a strong set-up to finish third (twice) and second in the Northern Division in the last two seasons. Captured the Staffs FA Youth Cup for the first time in 00/01, beating West Bromwich Albion in the final, and retained the trophy the following season. 2002/03 saw them head the Western Division for most of the season, and it was only a (otherwise creditable) last game goalless draw with Shrewsbury Town that saw them drop to third place. There was further disappointment when they were forced to surrender their County Cup to Bloxwich Town after an extra time defeat.
#HEREFORD UNITED - First joined the Southern Division (as a Football League club)in 88/89, taking the title at the first attempt, but dropped out after two more seasons. Returned in 98/99, but after one season in the Premier Division reverted to the Southern where they finished as unbeaten runners up in 99/00. Although scrapping their YTS scheme for 00/01 the club linked up with North Birmingham College to field a team in the Northern Division for the last two seasons, playing at Pelsall Villa FC's ground in Staffordshire. There they finished runners up and fourth respectively before switching their youth base back to the club's Edgar Street headquarters in partnership with Pershore College and rejoining the Southern section for 02/03. After a season-long two-horse race with local rivals Wellington Hereford finally took the title to earn a place back in the Premier Division for 2003/04.
HIGHGATE UNITED - The Birmingham-based side are one of a number of Midland Combination clubs who have chosen the MFYL to groom their future first-teamers, joining the Central Division for the 2000/01 season, finishing third. A link up with Solihull College saw them in fourth spot the following season, but the club and college severed their ties early last season, even though the college had to carry the Highgate name for the rest of their highly successful season which saw them runners up in the Eastern Division and narrowly beaten by a single goal by West Bromwich Albion in the League Cup final at the Hawthorns. (See Moor Green)
HIGHWAY SPORTS - The Coventry Alliance Premier Division outfit were the first club from their level to be admitted to the MFYL for the 02/03 season, playing in the newly-formed Eastern Division. Had an excellent start and were early leaders of the division before eventually finishing eighth. Have reverted to their former name of Mount Nod Highway for the 03/04 campaign.
HILLCROFT - This little-known club (by me anyway !) spent three seasons in the Northern Division from 85-88, and finished in a creditable runners-up position in 86/87.
HINCKLEY ATHLETIC - One of three Hinckley clubs to have played in the MFYL, Athletic joined the Northern Division in 86/87, finishing third, and had four more seasons before departing.
HINCKLEY TOWN - Town joined neighbours Athletic in the Northern section for 88/89 and 89/90, then after a six-season break returned for one more campaign in 96/97.
#HINCKLEY UNITED - Formed by an amalgamation of the town's other clubs in 97/98, United quickly established themselves as a major force in the MFYL. Northern Division fourth place in their first season saw them selected for the new Premier section for 98/99, and an excellent campaign saw them finish runners-up and also win the Leics FA Youth Cup. 99/00 saw them finish fifth, but they lifted the League Cup and also retained the county cup for a second year. Always a top half side in the league, and again reached the County Cup final in 2001/02.
HOLWELL SPORTS - The little Leicestershire club had a fairly impressive three seasons in the MFYL between 95-98, finishing fourth, third and sixth respectively in the Northern Division.
IBSTOCK WELFARE - Another Leicestershire side who spent one season in the Northern Division in 97/98.
ILKESTON TOWN - Seldom has a club made such an impression on the league in one season. Joining the MFYL in 99/00 they swept to the Northern Division title by nine points, as well as reaching the League Cup semi finals and taking Peterborough to a replay in the FA Youth Cup, and their presence in the Premier section was eagerly awaited. However, the club made a shock withdrawal from the league prior to the 00/01 season, following an invitation to join a new Conference Youth League.
#KENILWORTH JUNIORS - A new club who have been accepted into the Eastern Division for 2003/04, groundsharing with neighbouring Kenilworth Town.
#KENILWORTH TOWN - Now in their fifth campaign, the Midland Combination club's youngsters spent two season's confidently holding their own in the Southern Division, before switching to the Central section for two seasons. Now in their second Eastern Division term.
#KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS - Despite not joining the MFYL until it's third year of existence, Harriers are the longest-serving club in the league and are currently in their 19th consecutive season. They are also the most successful with eight titles, including the Premier Division for three seasons between 1999 and 2002, and in fact have finished in the top three in 13 of their seasons. They are one of only four clubs to have won the League Cup twice, as well as being beaten finalists on two other occasions. In 99/00 season they also added the Herefordshire FA Youth Cup to their list of honours, at the first attempt, and retained the trophy in 00/01. Also took the Worcs FA Youth Cup that season, and again reached the final in 01/02. Following the club's promotion to the Nationwide League in 00/01 Harriers became the ninth club to have taken part in the MFYL while a Football League club.
KINGS HEATH - The Midland Combination club entered a youth team for 2002/03, based at Alvechurch FC, but changed their name to Castle Vale KH and relocated to the North Birmingham district part way through the season. (See under Castle vale KH)
#LEAMINGTON - The rejuvenated Leamington club, who joined the Midland Combination in 00/01 and smashed attendance records with 500+ crowds, then took the next logical step and formed a youth side which in only its second MFYL campaign swept to the Eastern Division title last season. 2003/04 sees them promoted to Premier Division status.
LEICESTER CITY - Youth coach David Nish brought his young Foxes into the MFYL in 96/97, when after an intriguing battle they finished runners up to Burton in the Northern Division. The following season the two clubs positions were reversed, with City taking the title and also the League Cup. The two seasons also proved to be a worthwhile relations exercise for the Filbert Street club, with Nish and his assistant Steve Simms able to take their side out to local clubs such as Holwell and Ibstock and give them the rare chance to play against a Leicester City team. Sadly, Howard Wilkinson's Academy scheme excluded Premiership clubs like City from any other youth league, and they were reluctantly forced to pull out of the MFYL.
LEICESTER NIRVANA - The club spent two seasons from 95-97 in the Northern Division, before being excluded from the league for disciplinary reasons.
LEICESTER UNITED - The now defunct Leicester club had only four seasons in the league, but had quite an impressive record in that short time. They were twice Northern division runners-up, in 91/92 and 94/95, as well as being League Cup finalists in 91/92.
LUTTERWORTH TOWN - Yet another Leicestershire club to sampled life in the MFYL. Town were members for six seasons, with their best finish being sixth in their opening campaign, 91/92.
LYE TOWN - The Worcestershire club were one of the league's original 12 members, staying for eight seasons. Their best season saw them finish second in the Southern Division in 87/88, while in 83/84 they were fourth in the Northern section.