The Football Association’s new youth reforms are the “missing bridge” between mini soccer and 11-a-side football, according to the president of the Southampton Tyro League.

Brian Butler confirmed the organisation had backed the changes recently announced by the FA, which will see an increase in small-sided games for children, as well as age-appropriate pitch and goal sizes.

“Our league is supporting the change from 11-a-side to nine v nine,” he said.

“When they introduced mini soccer, they didn’t really think it through.

“A lot of the very successful teams in mini soccer just fell by the wayside when they came up to the 11s, because there was a missing bridge.

“We believe this is the missing bridge between mini soccer and full team soccer, and we support it.

“It’s now about getting it going.”

Full story in today's Daily Echo