Progress is key as young city athletes head south

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A mammoth Edinburgh Athletic Club team of 80-85 male and female athletes, comprising three age groups, under-17, under-15 and under-13, will head south in two coachloads to Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium this weekend for the UK Young Athletes League Final.

The Capital hopefuls, up against some of the biggest clubs in the country, including Enfield and Birchfield, will be bidding to improve again on their previous performances, having been fourth two years ago and third last year.

The almost inevitable fixture clash means that EAC may be missing some key competitors at the UK School Games at Sheffield including sprinter John Glen and 400 metres hurdler Seumas Thomson.

But overall coach Keith Ridley believes that Edinburgh’s chances are still good: “We may not be quite as strong as last year in the under-17 group but our under-15 and under-13 are probably better.”

“It’s very difficult to forecast as club strengths change so much from year to year,” he added.

“For example last year’s champions Blackheath and Bromley are not even in the main final this time.”

AAA Under-15 400 metres silver medallist Ben Robbins will have one more opportunity to break 50 seconds after coming so close (50.18 secs) in Bedford last month.