Football development

Hackney Marshes Saturday Youth Football League and the Hackney Marshes Girls Football League 23/24

The Hackney Marshes Saturday Youth Football League (HMSYFL) 2023/24 and the Hackney Marshes Girls Football League (HMGFL) 2023/24 both start on Saturday, October 7, 2023.

The HMSYFL and HMGFL 23/24 Club membership this season includes 62 clubs with a total of over 230 teams.

This means there will be over 4,000 young girls and boys from U8 to U17 playing football at Hackney Marshes and Mabley Green every Saturday during the football 23/24 season.

This makes the HMSYFL and HMGFL together one of, if not the largest youth participation projects in Hackney.

The HMSYFL and the HMGFL are England Football Accredited Leagues. They play an integral part in supporting the growth of football development in the borough.

The Leagues give the opportunity to enjoy regular organised football participation to children and young people from Hackney and surrounding boroughs.

The Leagues also offer a football education programme to its membership. This includes coach CPD events, refereeing qualifications and football themed accredited awards.

For more information on the HMSYFL or the HMGFL email 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: 7 September 2023