CROSSFLATTS Village Veterans broke the stranglehold of the fine Keighley Athletic side as they won the Craven Veterans Summer League at the first time of asking.

Martin Crangles’ Keighley Athletic Veterans team - which had ex-Bradford City player Neil Grayston in their ranks - knew they had some firm competition in their attempts to regain their Summer League crown, and that proved to be the case as Crossflatts Village came out on top at the end of an eight-game campaign.

Over the course of his 12-month management reign, Crossflatts supremo Ric Osadzenko has assembled a talented squad that now consists of a number of players who have represented the successful Crossflatts Village FC Sunday League team, including Oliver Metcalfe and Matthew Morgan, to play alongside some of the best talent from the Bradford, Keighley and Skipton areas from the past two decades to make up his talented squad.

Crossflatts went into their final game against a strong Ilkley Town Veterans team knowing that victory would be enough to secure the title. Ex-Farsley Celtic striker Mark Bett showed no big game nerves and his superb hat-trick was enough to claim a 3-1 victory to give Crossflatts the title.

Village boss Osadzenko, who shares his time between managing his side and DJ’ing at a host of local and international nightclubs, said: "I started this project 12 months ago and carefully assembled a team I thought was capable of competing.

"We've got some characters in the team, to put it mildly, and it's been a fun journey.

"Despite the absence of Stuart Waite due to personal problems for much of the campaign, the lads have exceeded all my expectations, and to wrestle the title away from Keighley Athletic in the manner we did at the end was the stuff of fairy tales."

The title-winning players will celebrate their achievements with the gaffer when he performs at the Passion first birthday event at Kooky's nightclub in Skipton on Saturday, September 28 - and all supporters and sponsors are invited to join the celebrations in what is bound to be a memorable evening.

Crossflatts Veterans will look to build on their success in the Winter League which kicks off later this year but know that defending Winter League champions Keighley Athletic will be gunning for revenge.

The Veteran’s League initiative is still in its infancy. In recent years there has been a rise in veterans football across West Riding, West Riding FA have created and developed some ‘flexible’ veterans leagues across the county to try and meet the needs of players over the age of 35, and fit in around the busy lifestyles they lead.

The Craven Veterans Summer League is just one of a number of veterans league being run up and down the country.

The West Riding County FA want the number of Veterans Leagues to double over the next five years and they are going to be doing even more to help the senior players who are finding it hard to adjust to life after retirement from the 90-minute game.