The Central League is pleased to announce that it has agreed a sponsorship deal with Final Third Sports Media.
The partnership with the award winning Northampton-based company will take effect from 1st January 2014 and will see the competition renamed as the 'Final Third Development League' immediately.
Final Third Sports Media specialise in providing content and management support for websites, apps and publications in the sport and leisure industry. They work with national governing bodies, organisations, sponsors, sports businesses, stadiums, professional clubs, individual elite sports stars and charities, in the UK and abroad.
The Central League was formed in 1911 and for the first decade it was initially contested between both first and reserve teams. Since 1921, when the senior sides became founder members of Third Division North, it has been for reserve teams only.
The League is currently contested by clubs from the Midlands, as well as north Wales and north England, but has ambitious plans to expand to become a national competition in time for the start of the 2014/15 season.
Ernest Barron, President of the Central League, commented: "In 102 years the Central League has seen football evolve beyond all recognition and we are adapting as an organisation to ensure we are best placed to serve the needs of our member clubs.
"A lot of that change has occurred in the last 10 years alone. Last season 66% of players in the Central League were under the age of 21 and the move to a national structure will give us a robust platform in which to help clubs develop young players further.
"To be successful we need to partner with the right people. The expertise in communication and new media, especially digital, that Final Third can provide will significantly support our growth and the health of the league competition that we can offer. We are delighted to welcome them to our team."
Chris Rivett, managing director of Final Third Sports Media, added: "I cut my journalistic teeth reporting on reserve team football when I started out at Northampton Town; the impact it has for developing talent goes beyond just the playing side and that is something that appeals to me about this opportunity.?
"Working with the clubs and stakeholders, away from the pitch, to raise awareness and support structured development is going to be a big focus for our involvement.?
"This is a good partnership for us and we are excited about what can be achieved to benefit the competition. The management committee have impressed us with their plans for the future and we look forward to working with them."