NEWPORT Reserves have joined a new mainland league that will open up the potential for young Isle of Wight footballers to progress into adult county standard football.

It's good news for Newport's senior team, which has blooded a number of young talents in recent seasons, but left bitterly disappointed by their two reserve sides dropping out of Division 2 of the Island League and Combination 2 two seasons ago.    

But following the merger of the Wyvern Combination League and the Hampshire Youth County Development League, there will be two Saturday all-age leagues — a Sunday under-18 league and a midweek floodlit under-23 league.

Newport Reserves will be placed in one of the two leagues — east or west.

Graham Snow, who coaches Newport Reserves, said: "I'm pleased to say we have been accepted to play in the new Hampshire combination/development league for the coming season. 

"Newport Reserves will more than likely be placed in the Saturday West Division, which means they will be travelling around the Southampton, Bournemouth and Salisbury areas, with home games played at Northwood Rec in Cowes for the forthcoming season. 

"This new league opens up the potential for young footballers to progress into adult county standard football, following on from youth football."