It remains one of the most famous comments from a well-known TV football pundit ever.

'You won't win anything with kids' .

Those were the words of Alan Hansen after a Manchester United side containing youngsters such as Beckham, Scholes, Giggs, Butt and the Nevilles had lost 3-1 at Aston Villa on the opening day of the 1995/96 Premier League season.

Sir Alex Ferguson obviously didn't agree, and a few months later United were celebrating a league and cup double.

I never agreed either, thinking as soon as I had heard those six words 'well, what about the FA Youth Cup?'

And, more to the point with regards to this new weekly blog, what about Division 2 of the Testway Youth League's under-11 section?

You can only win that with kids. And hopefully with one of mine.

I have grown up watching football.

From the age of nine, when my dad used to take me along with him to Exeter City's home games - and, yes, I've heard the child abuse jibes before and they're not funny, ok? - I've been hooked on the beautiful game.

In my role as a journalist, I've watched games from some of the lowest levels - Devon League, Dorset League - to the highest.

My year and a half covering Nottingham Forest when they possessed the wonderful trio of Stan Collymore, Brian Roy and Lars Bohinen in the mid 1990s was highly enjoyable because of the quality of Frank Clark's side.

Who remembers, in the 1994/95 season when Blackburn pipped Manchester United to win the Premier League, Forest finishing third?

I do, and some of the football was sensational.

But I digress.

Up to last season, I had watched hundreds and hundreds of adult games, and played in a few myself - four halcyon years at Marnhull-based Palace Court in the Blackmore Vale Sunday League.

You cannot call yourself a grass-roots footballer if you have not changed in a pitch-side caravan that doubled up as Kings Arms'

changing room facilities, as we once did.

Ditto if you have never rescued your match referee after finding him and his car submerged in a flood en route to the game.

So, numerous boxes had been ticked on my footballing CV, with one notable exception.

Youth football.

I never played for a team while growing up in east Devon, always preferring the delights of Exeter City losing 7-1 at home to Brentford (sadly, I haven't made that up, it did happen in 1983 and I was there to witness it ...) Until last season, I was starting to get more than a trifle nervous that my son, Ben, would never be charmed by football.

Not even a trip to Wembley in 2008 to watch Exeter win promotion from the Conference seemed to do the trick.

When I ask him what he enjoyed about the day, he mentions the huge - and very costly - cheeseburger he munched his way through while I tucked into what remained of my fingernails.

Ben had tried rugby at Fordingbridge RFC on a Sunday morning for a couple of years, but didn't really seem to enjoy it after a lot of his friends had dropped out.

I didn't try very hard to change his mind, my own egg-chasing memories consigned to some miserable school afternoons getting hit very hard by some kids much wider than my scrawny frame when I was 13 or14.

He then spent a few months learning to capsize, sorry sail, just north of Ringwood.

So, as you can see, I was getting concerned.

Is there anything worse for a football-loving father than to see his son turn his back on the greatest game of them all?

Thankfully, Ben was finally bitten by the footie bug at the start of last season.

He knew a couple of friends who were playing for the Fordingbridge Town team, and as a result went along to pre-season training in the summer of 2011.

As a result, he took part in most of the team's under-10 Testway Youth League games last season, where Fordingbridge finished mid-table in Division 2.

And as a result, I became one of thousands of dads whose weekend mornings were now taken up transporting our kids to away games, helping to put up the posts before matches, and standing on the touchline whatever the conditions.

If it was warm and dry, I was there. If it was freezing and raining, I was there.

It was great.

I even enjoyed getting lost on the way to Tidworth Tigers' ground, mainly because our entire convoy went off at different angles on reaching Tidworth, in the same way that the competitors on Wacky Races used to appear as dots on a radar screen going every which way but the right one.

As I said, there are thousands of dads like me who now take a pride in our son's football careers, knowing our own have sadly gone and will never return.

Never again will I enjoy the dubious thrill of being part of a Palace Court side battered 12-1 at home on a freezing cold February morning by Milborne Port.

Never again will I experience the delights of 'centre circle' Reg Day, the oldest referee in the Blackmore Vale League - possibly the world - who was cheerfully useless, mainly because he regularly gave a mystifying sequence of free-kicks, corners and penalties from his position in ... well, you guess.

Never again will I suffer the ignominy of seeing one of my team-mates score an own goal 25 seconds after kick off.

That is all behind me, and Ben's career is all in front of him.

In this blog, I will try to share with you the ups and downs of youth football.

Hopefully anyone who has ever been involved with Saturday or Sunday morning youth league football - be it players, managers, referees, officials, parents, grandparents or friends - will see a bit of themselves in my weekly ramblings from the side of a patch of a grass somewhere in Hampshire or south Wiltshire.

As I said, some weeks I will be on a high, sometimes lower than a snake's belly. Inconsistency is the bedrock for most football teams, whatever their level, and no-one can expect too much consistency from 11-year-olds.

Can we?

But at least one fact warms my heart as the winter months come screaming into sight.

At least Reg Day won't be ruining my son's games as he used to ruin mine.