The Junior Premier League was affiliated and sanctioned to start by the Football Association in April 2011 after a meeting at Wembley Stadium between our founder Martin Brock, and Steve Rooke & Michael Game from the FA. The sanction was granted for us to be a nationally affiliated league even though we were very small – we are grateful that the FA saw the vision we had.
On the 10th of September 2011, the following clubs kicked off the first season of the Junior Premier League, Bath City Academy, JSSI, Yate Town, Oxford City, Gloucester City, Hereford United, Worcester City, WBA Colts, Kidderminster Harriers, Bristol Inner City, North Somerset, Newport County, Burton Albion, & Racing Club Warwick.
The end of our first season saw us crown champions in League and Cup Competitions at the Under 12s to Under 16s age groups. Since that time the JPL has grown from an initial 1 league per age group to what it is today which is an average of 12 leagues per group and from the initial 12s to 16s, we are now at Under 7s through to Under 18s.
In the first season we saw a success rate that, whilst we expected it to be high, literally surpassed our every expectation, as 1 in 12 players in the league were signed to a professional football club academy. This amazing statistic has increased over time and it now stands at 1 in 11 players from our league and 1 in 6 for players selected to the JPL representative teams.
In the second season, the JPL started getting inquiries from girls’ teams to join it and after discussions with the FA, we were told we would not be permitted to operate a girls league. It took us another 8 seasons before we were finally given the go-ahead to start a very small girls league with 7 Under 16s teams.
The following season we decided that rather than referring to it as JPL Girls we needed to give that section of the league a stronger identity and JPL Warriors was born. By the start of the 2022/23 season, the Warriors League now has from Under 12s to Under 18s and multiple leagues for most age groups.
The JPL has had many notable achievements on its journey so far:
The JPL has its England offices in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, and employs a full-time team of 11 staff that are all dedicated to providing the best service for all of our clubs, coaches, parents, and players.
We have recently opened our USA office in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA and have a full-time team of 2 staff that is focused on growing the JPL brand in the Mountain West region, incorporating Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota.
We are now excited to be opening our Middle East office in Bahrain and employing a dedicated staff team to grow the JPL brand across the GCC.