Tag Archives: grass roots football

Can You Coach Anybody?

That is the question being asked by the Nivea Great Football Experiment.

Nivea for Men have set out to find whether or not with England level coaching, physiotherapy and nutrition advice you can take an underperforming Sunday League team and turn their fortunes around.

Over six hundred amateur teams entered for the chance to have their whole regime changed by some seasoned professionals.

The winners were Ivory FC from Billericay in Essex, formed as recently as 2007, they finished 6th of the ten teams in the Brentwood Sunday League First Division last season, winning seven of their eighteen games.

So can the professionals turn them into title challengers?

A team from the FA led by former England player and manager Terry Venables have been working closely with the Ivory FC players over the summer as they prepare them for the coming season. Eighty Four capped Ray Wilkins and Sixty One capped Ray Clemence assisted by experienced FA coaches Rob Pithers and Nick Emery are getting the lads into shape, while they also have access to proper physiotherapy facilities and nutritional advice.

They may have lost 4-0 to a side made up of celebrities recently but the team have already shown vast improvements, and they will be hoping to put on a good show when they take on a team of ex-England stars at the end of the month.

I will be tracking the progress of the side here, so we can see how much of a difference professional expertise can really make…

Good Luck Ivory FC from georgeweahscousin.com!

Chris

Isle of Wight Squad Named….

Manager Andy Sampson has named his squad for the 2011 Natwest Island Games Football Tournament.

A useful mix of youth and experience covering every position should provide a decent platform for the team to use home advantage as an assault on the medal positions.

While the majority of the squad is Island based, with several players coming from the successful Wessex League Premier campaigns of Brading Town and Newport, it is also bolstered with Islanders plying their trade with mainland teams.

Sampson will be looking to the experience of former pro Aaron Cook, now playing for Southern League Gosport Borough to lead the side. Former Portsmouth and Southampton Academy members Ryan Woodford and Tom Dunford respectively are also named, as is Thatcham Town’s Matt Bowler.

Aaron Cook

The potent Brading forward line of Giancovich, Levrier and Jones will renew acquaintances for the representative side as will the impressive Newport midfield duo of Seabrook and Smeeton.

Squad in Full:-

Goalkeepers:- Gary Streeter (Newport IW), Jamie Bray (Blackfield & Langley)

Defenders:- Matt  Bowler (Thatcham Town), Aiden Bryan (Cowes Sports), Aaron Cook (Gosport Borough), Ollie Fleming (Brading Town), Alex Przespolewski (Brading Town), Scott Sampson (Newport IW/Royal Navy), Ryan Woodford (Havant & Waterlooville).  

Midfielders:- Tom Dunford (Winchester City), John McKie (Newport IW), Iain Seabrook (Newport IW), Tom Scovell (Newport IW), Charlie Smeeton (Newport IW), Myles Taylor (Cowes Sports), Jamie White (Brockenhurst).

Forwards:- Giancarlo Giancovich (Brading Town),  Danny Hatcher (Shanklin), Scott Jones (Brading Town), Kyle Levrier (Brading Town), Tom McInnes (Newport IW).

Tom Dunford in his Southampton days.

The Island side kick off their Island Games campaign against Ynys Mon on Sunday 26th June at St. Georges Park, Seven thirty kick off. For a full list of fixtures click here.

For full squad list and pen pics, see the IOWFA page:- IOW Squad

Chris

IW Senior (Gold) Cup Final Preview….

The Island’s top two sides faced off at St. George’s Park on Bank Holiday Monday in a dress rehearsal of this year’s Gold Cup Final. Charlie Smeeton gave the home side the lead early on, before Josh Appell equalised for the Romans on the half hour as the sides battled to a hard fought local derby stalemate.

All eyes will now be on Westwood Park for the 5th May and the final.

In an exact re-run of last years final, the Port will be looking for revenge on Brading who took the trophy last time out with a 2-1 victory.

Both teams will enter the match in good form, without a defeat between them in the last nine games. Newport on a resurgence under new manager Paul Sleep will be full of confidence having only recently won the Russel Cotes Cup in dramatic fashion over fellow Wessex League Premier Divison outfit Bermerton Heath Harlequins. While Brading’s impressive league results see them going into their last match against Champions Poole Town on Thursday knowing a win and results going their way elsewhere could see them runners up.

V

Brading Town from:-  True, Plumbley, Tigwell, Ince, Younie, Prezpolewzki, Quigley, Fleming, Stuber, Lewis, Ford, Sturgess, Butt, Lawson, Leigh, Rayner, Morris, Appell, Henderson, Buckett, Jones, Armstrong, Vale, Levrier, Giancovich, Wright, O’Rourke.

Last time out:- True, Butt(Quigley), Prezpolewzki, Appell(Giancovich), Fleming, Stuber, Ford(O’Rourke), Rayner, Morris, Levrier, Jones.

Top Scorers:- Levrier 27, Prezpolewzki 15, Giancovich 11.

Form(Last 6):- LWWWWD

Route to Final:- GKN, West Wight. 

Gold Cup wins:- 2 (1976/77, 2009/10)

Newport(IW) from:- Streeter, Farley, Sampson, Stay, McDonough, L. Powell, Wetherick, Augustus, Russell, Ovnik, D. Powell, Gregory, Evans, Hart, Seabrook, McInnes, McKie, Smeeton, Scovell.

Last time out:- Farley, Sampson, Stay, Augustus(Gregory), Russell, Ovnik, D. Powell, Seabrook, McInnes, McKie, Smeeton.

Top Scorers:- Seabrook 19, Smeeton 11, McInnes 10.

Form(Last 6):- WLWDWD

Route to Final:-  St. HelensNorthwood St. Johns

Gold Cup Wins:- 38 (1929/30, 1935/36, 1937/38, 1939/40, 1944/45, 1945/46, 1946/47, 1948/49, 1952/53 (shared with cowes) 1953/44, 1955/56 (this final won with reserves) 1957/58, 1965/66, 1967/68, 1970/71, 1971/72, 1972/73, 1973/74, 1974/75, 1975/76, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1980/81, 1986/87, 1987/88, 1989/90, 1991/92, 1992/93,1993/94, 1995/96, 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/2000,  2002/2003,  2003/2004, 2004/2005, 2008/2009)

The Isle of Wight Gold Cup

Chris

Newport Dominate Gold Cup Semi Final….

It was plain sailing for Newport as they cruised to a 5-0 victory over Northwood St. Johns in the Gold Cup Semi Final at Westwood Park last night.

The Wessex league outfit showed their superiority from the off and it didn’t take long for them to break the deadlock, a deep looping cross from left back Graham Stay fooled everyone, including the Northwood keeper and dipped into the top corner.

Things went from bad to worse for the Island League side soon after, Charlie Shaw turning a Newport cross into his own net to give the team in yellow a two goal advantage.

Northwood kept working hard, but Iain Seabrook in seemingly acres of space in the centre of the park was running the show.

Paul Sleep’s men put the tie beyond any doubt soon after the break, Seabrook rewarded for his endeavours in midfield scoring the third goal, slotting a low finish into the bottom corner.

A scramble in the box from another left wing cross led to the fourth, the Northwood defence failing to deal with it, before the ball rebounded off of the post from the eventual clearance and into the back of the net.

The left flank was proving to be a fruitful avenue of attack for the Port as Darren Powell volleyed home the fifth.

Northwood came alive in an attacking sense in the last ten minutes, but couldn’t find a way through and Gary Streeter in the Newport goal never looked troubled.

It was a dominant performance from the Wessex league side, but credit to Northwood who never stopped working or let their heads drop.

Newport will now face fellow Wessex League side Brading Town in the Final.

Newport (IW) 5 Northwood St. Johns 0

Newport:- Streeter, McDonough, Stay, Smeeton, Russell, White(L. Powell), D. Powell, Seabrook, McInnes(Wetherick), Evans(Augustus), Hart.

Northwood SJ:- Hayward, Symonds(J.Silk), Munns(D. Silk), Shaw, Aubrey, Lane, Turner, Kirkpatrick, Malcolmson, McKenzie(Bilton), Cook.

The kids are all Wight……..

It has often been said that being recognised as a talented footballer on the Isle of Wight, is not the easiest job in the world.

Down here off of the South Coast of England, it is hardly a footballing hotbed of talent, not that there isn’t talent, but for obvious reasons the opportunities for young Islanders to shine aren’t as readily available as it is for kids in London or the North West.

Links to the Island have traditionally come from the South Coast Clubs, Saints and Pompey have both run initiatives and scouting programs over the water and Bournemouth have also given many youngsters the chance to make a name for themselves, but still relatively few set the world alight.

Having said that several have made the grade and gone on to achieve great things in the professional arena. In fact we even now have a professional manager amongst our Island alumni. Lee Bradbury has had an impressive start to management after hanging up his boots and replacing the outgoing Eddie Howe at AFC Bournemouth, seven games in and Bradbury is yet to taste defeat as it becomes more of a case of Eddie Whoe at Dean Court!

Cowes born Bradbury is probably the most prominent of the Island pros, making the step up back in 1995 with Portsmouth. It was in 1996/97 season though that he really launched his career, his goal output in a struggling Pompey side was enough for Frank Clark to invest £3 million to take the Islander to Manchester City. While the move may not have worked out exactly as he would have liked, it was a monumental milestone for Island footballers, especially as it was soon followed by an England U-21 call up, and Lee wasn’t finished there. Going on to make over 500 football league appearances including spells for clubs as prominent as Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday before opting for the dugout at Dean Court this year, versatility played a key part in a long career, a player that started off very much a striker used his experience to perform in midfield and at full back in the latter stages.

Lee Bradbury - The Cowes Special One? Picture courtesy of afcb.co.uk

While Bradbury was forging the early stages of his career another Islander was progressing in the youth team at Bournemouth. Sandown lad James Hayter used a loan spell at non-league Salisbury City to show the Dorset club what he could do, and soon found himself a first team regular.

His impression on Bournemouth manager Sean O’Driscoll was notable, as soon after he moved from Dean Court to Doncaster Rovers he broke the Yorkshire club’s transfer record to take Hayter with him. It was here that Hayter had his finest moment, when he headed Rovers into the Championship, scoring the solitary goal in the 2008 League One Playoff final at Wembley.

The year 2000 saw two Islanders hit the local headlines, Lewis Buxton from East Cowes and Shaun Cooper from Newport both signing professional terms with Portsmouth. Buxton made an almost instant impact, earning rave reviews while still a teenager in Graham Rix’s side.  Unfortunately, both players were victims of a policy that didn’t involve the use of the clubs younger players when Harry Redknapp took over, both players spent spells away on loan before moving away permanently in 2005, Buxton to Stoke City, Cooper to Bournemouth.

Lewis’ stay in the potteries was interrupted by injuries, but he still managed to play 50 games before a loan spell at Hillsbrough became a permanent move, where now he is the first choice right back for Sheffield Wednesday.

Cooper made himself at home with the Cherries and captained the side through both the difficult points deduction season and the following promotion campaign.

Lewis Buxton heading for sucess? Picture courtesy of swfc.co.uk

It was also the youth system at Pompey that saw the emergence of another Islander, Gary Silk, now plying his trade for Blue Square Conference side Mansfield Town via Notts County.

Islanders have fared less successfully at the Southampton Academy, famed for it’s production of top players. As recently as the start of this season Island youngster Tom Dunford was released by the Saints, while Lake born Goalkeeper Simon Moore may have felt his chance of a career in the professional game may have passed him by after his time there. Moore though now finds himself on the books of League One Brentford after biding his time at Brading Town and Farnborough. Moore is now Wembley bound after the bees reached the final of the Johnstones Paint Trophy. While Cowes lad Aaron Martin had to “do it the hard way” via Non-League clubs before signing for Southampton last season.

Though not a born and bred Islander former Cowes High student Gary Rowett got as far as the Premier League with Everton in the mid nineties, matched by Jamie Lawrence who went from Westwood Park to the likes of Leicester City, all be it that his stay on the Island may not have been through choice……

From a county that boasts just 140,000 people, our contribution to the sports professional ranks isn’t really that bad. The biggest hurdle faced by Island footballers certainly isn’t the stretch of water that separates us from everyone else but the number of local clubs and the size of the local leagues which seem to dwindle year on year. Add to this the reduction in efforts of clubs like Portsmouth because of financial issues; it might be more difficult than ever to shine.

Hopefully all the names mentioned above will show talented kids that location can mean nothing if the dedication to succeed is there and certainly not to give up.

Chris