Ridgeons Football League
Published 15th November 2011
....been forced to call time on an action-packed career at the age of 32 due to a hip injury.
The player/assistant-manager, who has been sidelined since September 20th, has been told by specialists to give up the sport.
Youngs made his name during a six-year spell at Cambridge United after coming through the youth ranks at the Abbey Stadium, before completing a decade in League football with stints at Northampton, Leyton Orient and Bury.
His move into non-League football included a period at Cambridge City, before moving to Recreation Way and eventually becoming manager Christian Appleford’s right-hand man.
"Obviously it’s a huge disappointment to me," said Youngs. "I hoped I had a few years left in me.
"It was still a bit surprising that there was nothing they could do. I knew I wasn’t necessarily in the greatest shape, but you always hope there’s something they can do.
"Your health comes first, and family, so it’s the way it has to be. I wouldn’t swap the career I’ve had for anything.
"People are lucky to have any time as a professional footballer, and I got ten years. I’ll always be happy and proud of that when I look back on it."
Youngs’ final appearance for Mildenhall came when he was forced off after just 10 minutes in a 9-0 home victory over Wisbech Town in the Ridgeons Premier Division.
The disappointment of being told to stop doing strenuous exercise goes beyond football, with his dreams of playing more cricket when he retired now dashed.
But he is attempting to put that behind him and concentrate on helping Appleford get Mildenhall climbing the league table.
"I’ve told Christian I want to stay on as his assistant as I’ve really enjoyed it," said Youngs. "I think we’ve been quite successful together.
"It can be frustrating at times as you can be watching thinking you could influence the game. Not necessarily on the ball, but off it as we’ve got some young players."
Youngs was able to live out another of his dreams three months before what turned out to be his final run out, representing his employer Greene King on the hallowed Wembley turf at a corporate day.
And it is reminiscing about his time with the U’s which brings back plenty of happy memories for Youngs, in particular a 2-0 second-leg victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate in the last four of the LDV Vans Trophy in 2002, a difficult year, which ended in relegation back to the old Division Three.
"My whole time, pretty much, at Cambridge United was good," he said.
"We got promoted in my second season and then stayed up in what is League One now for three years, which was a good achievement for a club on limited resources.
"I scored over twenty goals at a rate of better than one in two in the calendar year 2000, and giving the fans something to cheer by getting to the LDV final in 2002 was a special moment.