Cambridge United have formalised a long-term partnership with Cambridge University Association Football Club, which guarantees a link between the clubs for at least the next ten years.

Since our involvement started in 2013/14, Cambridge United has hosted a Varsity Match, facilitated training through the provision of coaches and the Blues team have been managed by U's CEO Jez George.

The relationship has also been strengthened since the appointment of Danny Kerrigan as Cambridge United Community Trust Manager in October 2014. Danny has played an active role in supporting the partnership in the last three years, having previously played for CUAFC and represented the Blues in the Varsity Matches in 2010 and 2012.

This agreement has been reached with CUAFC President Dr John Little, a fellow at St Catharine's College who has selflessly served the club for over 50 years in a number of roles, having captained the Blues in 1974.

The partnership will see Cambridge United further strengthen their links with the University, following the recent appointment of Christoph Loch (Dean of The Judge Business School) to Cambridge United's Board of Directors and with the U's moving towards a long-term lease with Clare College for the use of their sports ground as a training facility.

Football has the highest participation numbers of any sport at the University, with eight men's inter-college divisions and four women's leagues, whilst the annual Varsity match which was this year held at Craven Cottage, is one of the most notable events of the University's sporting calendar. Indeed CUAFC is regarded as the oldest football club in the world, having been being formed in 1856 seven years before the Cambridge Rules were adopted by the FA.

President of CUAFC John Little has signed the new formalised partnership on behalf of the University, and he commented: "I'm very pleased on behalf of Cambridge University Association Football Club to mark the beginning of a great collaboration with Cambridge United.

"This partnership has developed over a number of years, and there have been some good people at the club who we have collaborated with in the past, but it's really been Dave Doggett [Chairman] and Jez George [CEO] who have bought into it to support University football.

"The club obviously delivers a fantastic range of programmes across the community, and this partnership brings that together. This agreement also provides CUAFC access to Cambridge United's coaches which is fantastic.

"Our hope is that the relationship continues to grow and I would love to see our players involved in the club's community work to some extent in the future."

Meanwhile Cambridge United Chief Executive Jez George added: "We are absolutely delighted that the partnership has been formalised three years after being initiated by Graham Daniels (Trust Chairman).

"This will give a fantastic opportunity for a number of our young coaching staff to develop and also allow us to play a major role in helping football within the University to progress.

"We also know that with a positive planning outcome for the Sporting Village in Trumpington, we will be able to expand this agreement to encompass a training base and match venue for all the men's and women's representative teams.

"John Little is a man of the highest integrity and his contribution to University football has been immeasurable. We are delighted that we will now be able to play a small role, alongside John, in their future."