Progress Report June 2018
When I first agreed to take on the post of President of the football club I did so on the understanding that I would only commit as long as everyone was willing to bring senior and junior football back together in the Brandon area under one club Brandon United. For various reasons the senior and junior sections were estranged and this had a negative effect on all the teams.
The timing was right, the juniors had a new committee with lots of ideas and most importantly a willingness to commit both time and effort into building a good organisation for the kids and the senior section were looking for new blood to take up the reigns of the Northern League team. Fortunately, Chris Blakelock was keen to help, Chris having played, coached and managed in the Northern League has an extensive knowledge of non league football and his understanding of the various intricacies involved has been a great help. Together we have acted as a bridge between the old ways of Northern League football and the more modern approached which is both needed and expected in junior football now.
To say it has been quite a rocky road over the past two years is an understatement. We found ourselves involved in a typical second division Northern League football club which was barely surviving, having limited funds and an infrastructure which was falling apart and struggling to be compliant with league and local authority regulations. This with a very small band of committee members who did all they could to keep the club afloat. In particular Bill Fisher and Barry Ross need to be commended for their many hours of hard work, above and beyond the call of duty in just keeping the club alive.
Whilst Chris and myself strived to pull the senior football club around the junior committee have done a tremendous job of building youth football in the area. Again, this has not been an easy task due to problems with previous junior set ups. However, they have managed to bring together various teams in the area, unite them under one banner and built a very professionally run organisation. In particular the hard work and commitment of Stephen Graham, Natalie Johnson, Eddie Tribe and Karrie Eilles needs to be commended along with the dedication and commitment of all the team coaches and helpers.
Having got the clubhouse under our own control we now have a base for the whole club to operate from and a bar and facilities from which all profits will go back into the club for the future development of Brandon United Football Club.
This season we are really excited to be running an under 23’s team. This will complete the final link between the junior and senior teams and in the long term give a continuous path through the club from our under 6 development teams through to the first team. The junior section has grown to the extent that we have in the region of 130 juniors playing football and have recently added an under 13’s girls team which we hope will be the first of many girls teams.
The culmination of two years hard work by a number of people was there for all to see on Sundays junior presentation day. Over 100 kids in Brandon United strips along with coaches and family attended the junior presentation and fun day held on the first team pitch at the Welfare Ground.
As we go into the new season we are now truly becoming one club and this integration and growth will only increase over the coming months and years. The future of football in Brandon is bright but having taken time to pause and reflect we cannot rest on our laurels, there is much more hard work to do. The good news is we have a dedicated group of people willing to put the effort in. We hope as the club grows more people will be able to help and build a club which can be an example to others of how grass roots football can be developed and run.
Over the next few days more detailed progress reports will be posted with regards to the clubhouse, the pitches we will be using and the football development plans we are putting in place.
The good news is we have now have solid foundations to build upon and by working together Brandon United can now go from strength to strength.
Brandon United FC