TEENAGE soccer starlets in Gloucestershire are being given golden opportunities to demonstrate they can cut the mustard on the county stage.

Gloucestershire FA are again entering under-16s and under-18s boys teams into next season’s South and West Counties Youth Championship and are holding trials in order to give ambitious youngsters every chance of making the grade.

Under-18s trial sessions take place on the 3G surface at the GFA’s Oaklands Park premises in Almondsbury on Sunday, August 17 at 5.30pm, while the county’s under-16s hopefuls will be put through their paces at the same venue on Thursday, September 18 between 8pm and 10pm.

Chairman of the GFA’s county match committee, Sue Henson-Green, said: “It’s a truly prestigious honour to play for your county and for some young lads it is the pinnacle of their young playing careers.

“They are presented with ties on their first appearances and medals on their fourth appearances, and if they perform for their county eight times they are awarded with caps and it’s wonderful to see the expressions on their faces when they’re given them.

“It’s a good experience for the boys, teaming-up with players from other clubs and playing against people from other counties who they wouldn’t ordinarily come across.

“Apart from academy players, anyone who feels they have a chance of playing at county level, from schools, colleges or clubs, can take part, and coaches who feel their boys are up to the task can put them forward.”

Youngsters aspiring to gain places with Gloucestershire Under-18s have an added incentive to gain entry – the team are to face Hertfordshire at home in the first round of the FA County Youth Cup on Saturday, October 11, with a tie against Devon in round two up for grabs.

The same side, who were narrowly pipped by Devon to the title last term, will face Wiltshire, Cornwall and Berks and Bucks in Section B of next season’s S&W Counties Championship, while the under-16s will take on opposite numbers from those same counties as well as the likes of Gwent and Dorset.

Anyone wishing to take part in either of the trials can contact Laura Faulkner on 01454 615888 (select option 4) or email her at laura.faulkner@gloucestershirefa.com Alternatively call Sue Henson-Green on 07970 012820.