Football development

Launch of the Hackney Marshes and Capital Girls league 2022/23

We’re launching a new girls league in Hackney Marshes and Mabley Green this autumn.

Open to teams from under 11 to under 15, the new league is looking for teams.

Contact if you’d like to get your team involved or if you know a player that wants to be linked up with a team.

The League is an extension of the successful Hackney Marshes Saturday Youth Football League (HMSYFL) 21/22 Girls Divisional football competition and is a collaboration between the Council and the Capital Girls League, which is the largest girls’ football league in Greater London.

The collaboration will be an opportunity to further develop girls football in the borough.

Also joining the collaboration will be West Ham United FC Women’s Academy.

They will be contributing some free tickets to watch their home WSL matches, to support the development of the new League.

Hackney Marshes Saturday Youth Football League 22/23

The kick off date for the Hackney Marshes Saturday Youth Football League 22/23 (HMSYFL) will be Saturday 1 October 2022.

The HMSYFL 22/23 Club membership this season is currently 63 Clubs which amounts to 213 teams.

This will mean that there will be more than 3,500 young girls and boys from U8 to U17 playing football.

At the centralised venues of Hackney Marshes and Mabley Green every Saturday of the football 22/23 season.

This makes the HMSYFL one of the biggest youth participation projects in the borough of Hackney.

The HMSYFL is an England Football Accredited League which is a joint venture that was initiated in 2013 by Hackney Borough Council and its local grassroots Clubs, was recently awarded the London FA Grassroots League of the Year 2021.

The HMSYFL plays an integral part in supporting the growth of football development in the borough.

It gives the opportunity to enjoy regular organised football participation to children and young people from Hackney and surrounding boroughs.

Additionally the League offers a football education programme to its membership.

This entails coach CPD events, refereeing qualifications and football themed accredited awards.

For more information on the HMSYFL  contact Michael Cole at

Hackney Marshes Saturday Youth Football League tackles Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal Football Club

Hackney Marshes Saturday Youth Football League (HMSYFL) is one of the largest grassroots football leagues in London. All of the games are played at the iconic home of grassroots football Hackney Marshes and Mabley Green throughout the football season.

As a part of the Council’s football development programme the league aims to put in place opportunities for the coaches and players within the league whereby they are able to engage with many different facets of the global football industry.

An example of this was an hour-long recorded interview with Emile Smith Rowe, a young emerging and talented professional football player from Arsenal Football Club, which took place Saturday 22 August 2020.

The format of the interview focused on 12 players from the HMSYFL who had been given the chance via a competition to tackle Emile Smith Rowe with questions on the subject of his career and the world of a young professional footballer.

During the interview 9 of the questions were put to Emile by Michael Cole, the Football Development Officer for the Council. Prior to the interview Emile also chose the top 3 questions from the 12 players.

The 3 selected players were excited to be given the opportunity to join the interview to ask their questions directly to Emile. They were also lucky enough to win the following prizes:

  • 1st prize / best question – a signed Emile Smith Rowe Arsenal shirt/ £100 Nike voucher and an Arsenal Stadium tour for 4
  • 2nd prize / second best question – £75.00 Nike voucher and Arsenal FC Stadium tour for 3
  • 3rd prize / third best question – £25.00 Nike voucher and Arsenal FC Stadium tour for 3

On behalf of the league we would like to say a huge thanks to Emile for taking the time to join us and play his part in creating a great experience for the 3 young players.​

If you require any further information on football development in the borough then contact Michael Cole on 020 8356 2089 or

Page updated on: 6 September 2022